Enhanced zinc uptake by rice through phytosiderophore secretion: a modelling study

Mariya Ptashnyk, Tiina Roose, Davey L. Jones, Guy J. D. Kirk (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Rice (Oryza sativa L.) secretes far smaller amounts of metal-complexing phytosiderophores (PS) than other grasses. But there is increasing evidence that it relies on PS secretion for its zinc (Zn) uptake. After nitrogen, Zn deficiency is the most common nutrient disorder in rice, affecting up to 50% of lowland rice soils globally. We developed a mathematical model of PS secretion from roots and resulting solubilization and uptake of Zn, allowing for root growth, diurnal variation in secretion, decomposition of the PS in the soil, and the transport and interaction of the PS and Zn in the soil. A sensitivity analysis showed that with realistic parameter values for rice in submerged soil, the typically observed rates of PS secretion from rice are sufficient and necessary to explain observed rates of Zn uptake. There is little effect of diurnal variation in secretion on cumulative Zn uptake, irrespective of other model parameter values, indicating that the observed diurnal variation is not causally related to Zn uptake efficiency. Rooting density has a large effect on uptake per unit PS secretion as a result of overlap of the zones of influence of neighbouring roots. The effects of other complications in the rice rhizosphere are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2038-2046
Number of pages9
JournalPlant, Cell & Environment
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • Models, Biological
  • Oryza sativa
  • Plant roots
  • Siderophores
  • Soil
  • Zinc


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