Of the mineral nutrients essential for plant growth, phosphorus plays the widest diversity of roles and a lack of phosphorus has profound effects on cellular metabolism. At least eight members of the Arabidopsis Pht1 phosphate (Pi) transporter family are expressed in roots and Pht1;1 and Pht1;4 show the highest transcript levels. The spatial and temporal expression patterns of these two genes show extensive overlap. To elucidate the in planta roles of Pht1;1 and Pht1;4, we identified loss-of-function mutants and also created a double mutant, lacking both Pht1;1 and Pht1;4. Consistent with their spatial expression patterns, membrane location and designation as high-affinity Pi transporters, Pht1;1 and Pht1;4 contribute to Pi transport in roots during growth under low-Pi conditions. In addition, during growth under high-Pi conditions, the double mutant shows a 75% reduction in Pi uptake capacity relative to wildtype. Thus, Pht1;1 and Pht1;4 play significant roles in Pi acquisition from both low- and high-Pi environments.
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