Document Type


Publication Date



Phosphate (Pi) is a common limiter of plant growth due to its low availability in most soils. Plants have evolved elaborate mechanisms for sensing Pi deficiency and for initiating adaptive responses to low Pi conditions. Pi signaling pathways are modulated by both local and long-distance, or systemic, sensing mechanisms. Local sensing of low Pi initiates major root developmental changes aimed at enhancing Pi acquisition, whereas systemic sensing governs pathways that modulate expression of numerous genes encoding factors involved in Pi transport and distribution. The gaseous phytohormone ethylene has been shown to play an integral role in regulating local, root developmental responses to Pi deficiency. Comparatively, a role for ethylene in systemic Pi signaling has been more circumstantial. However, recent studies have revealed that ethylene acts to modulate a number of systemically controlled Pi starvation responses. Herein we highlight the findings from these studies and offer a model for how ethylene biosynthesis and responsiveness are integrated into both local and systemic Pi signaling pathways. © 2011 The Author.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Plant and Cell Physiology

First Page


Last Page