Overexpression of the LASAP2 gene for secretory acid phosphatase in white lupin improves the phosphorus uptake and growth of tobacco plants
Secretion of acid phosphatase (APase) from the roots to take up phosphorus (P) is a well-known strategy of plants under P-deficient conditions. White lupin, which shows vigorous growth in low-P soils, is noted for its ability to secrete APase under P-deficient conditions. The APase secreted by white lupin roots is stable in soil solution and shows low substrate specificity, suggesting that genetic modification of plants using the APase gene LASAP2 might improve their ability to use organic P. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the potential of LASAP2 transgenic plants to increase organic P utilization. Dry matter production and P accumulation were higher in LASAP2 transgenic tobacco plants grown in gel media containing soluble phytate as the sole P source than in wild-type tobacco plants. Phosphorus uptake by the transgenic plants also increased in soil culture conditions. LASAP2 was apparently more effective in the liberation of organic P, including phytate, in the soil than the native tobacco APase. Thus, the enzymatic stability of LASAP2 in the soil appears to be an important factor for P acquisition.