Essential Role of Phosphorus in Plants

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient both as a part of several key plant structure compounds and as a catalysis in the conversion of numerous key biochemical reactions in plants. Phosphorus is noted especially for its role in capturing and converting the sun’s energy into useful plant compounds.
Phosphorus is a vital component of DNA, the genetic “memory unit” of all living things. It is also a component of RNA, the compound that reads the DNA genetic code to build proteins and other compounds essential for plant structure, seed yield and genetic transfer. The structures of both DNA and RNA are linked together by phosphorus bonds.
Phosphorus is a vital component of ATP, the “energy unit” of plants. ATP forms during photosynthesis, has phosphorus in its structure, and processes from the beginning of seedling growth through to the formation of grain and maturity.
Thus, phosphorus is essential for the general health and vigor of all plants. Some specific growth factors that have been associated with phosphorus are:

  • Stimulated root development
  • Increased stalk and stem strength
  • Improved flower formation and seed production
  • More uniform and earlier crop maturity
  • Increased nitrogen N-fixing capacity of legumes
  • Improvements in crop quality
  • Increased resistance to plant diseases
  • Supports development throughout entire life cycle