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Received June 10, 2014
Phosphorus compounds are indispensable components of the Earth’s biomass metabolized by all living organisms. Under excess of phosphorus compounds in the environment, microorganisms accumulate reserve phosphorus compounds that are used under phosphorus limitation. These compounds vary in their structure and also perform structural and regulatory functions in microbial cells. The most common phosphorus reserve in microorganism is inorganic polyphosphates, but in some archae and bacteria insoluble magnesium phosphate plays this role. Some yeasts produce phosphomannan as a phosphorus reserve. This review covers also other topics, i.e. accumulation of phosphorus reserves under nutrient limitation, phosphorus reserves in activated sludge, mycorrhiza, and the role of mineral phosphorus compounds in mammals.
KEY WORDS: microorganism, phosphorus, inorganic polyphosphate, magnesium phosphate, phosphomannan, EBPR, limited growth, phosphorus reserve