PRECS student projects

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2019


Phosphorus (P) is essential for all organisms. In agriculture, P, nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) are applied in large amounts as fertilizer. Monoammonium phosphate (MAP), a conventional fertilizer, is highly water soluble, causing high P and N concentrations in agricultural runoff, harming aquatic life. Struvite (NH4MgPO4 ·6H2O), a waste-water derived product with potential for use as a P fertilizer; has low water solubility, and phosphorus in struvite is not as accessible to plants as it is in MAP. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) form mutualisms in which they receive carbon from plants in exchange for other nutrients, and assist in P uptake by more thorough soil exploration, a higher P affinity than that of plant roots, modification of the rhizosphere through exudates, and hyphal storage of absorbed P2. The goal of this research project is to determine the effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) on struvite dissolution, as well as the effect of struvite, and its placement, on mycorrhizal colonization and plant phosphorus uptake.


This research was conducted at the Soils Lab,, Department of Crop Sciences, College of Aces, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Financial support was provided by the National Science Foundation under grant #NSF REU 1559908/1559929, as part of the Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students, through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Institute for Genomic Biology and Parkland College.



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