Journal Article

Early response mechanisms of perennial ryegrass (<i>Lolium perenne</i>) to phosphorus deficiency

Stephen L. Byrne, Alexandre Foito, Pete E. Hedley, Jenny A. Morris, Derek Stewart and Susanne Barth

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 107, issue 2, pages 243-254
Published in print February 2011 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online December 2010 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI:

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  • Ecology and Conservation
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Background and Aims

Improving phosphorus (P) nutrient efficiency in Lolium perenne (perennial ryegrass) is likely to result in considerable economic and ecological benefits. To date, research into the molecular and biochemical response of perennial ryegrass to P deficiency has been limited, particularly in relation to the early response mechanisms. This study aimed to identify molecular mechanisms activated in response to the initial stages of P deficiency.


A barley microarray was successfully used to study gene expression in perennial ryegrass and this was complemented with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry metabolic profiling to obtain an overview of the plant response to early stages of P deficiency.

Key Results

After 24 h of P deficiency, internal phosphate concentrations were reduced and significant alterations were detected in the metabolome and transcriptome of two perennial ryegrass genotypes. Results indicated a replacement of phospholipids with sulfolipids and the utilization of glycolytic bypasses in response to P deficiency in perennial ryegrass.


The transcriptome and metabolome of perennial ryegrass undergo changes in response to reductions in P supply after 24 h.

Keywords: Lolium perenne; perennial ryegrass; phosphorus deficiency; metabolic profiling; transcript profiling; cross species hybridization

Journal Article.  8266 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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