Plants show various responses to phosphorus (P) deficiency. Root oxidizing capacity enhancement is one of adaptive mechanisms for rice (Oryza sativa L.) to P deficiency. However, it remains unclear how P deficiency enhances the root oxidizing capacity. In this study, rice seedlings were treated in P-deficient nutrient solution for different periods. Variations of reactive oxygen species (ROS), antioxidant enzyme activity, root lignin content, root porosity, root oxygen release, total oxidative substances and root structural changes in rice roots in response to P-sufficient and P-deficient treatments were investigated. Results indicated that P deficiency induced the production of H₂O₂ and O₂ - in roots significantly, which reached their maximum after 1- to 2-day P-deficient treatment. Interestingly, the endogenous total oxidative substances kept stable in rice roots. P deficiency increased the activities of peroxidase and superoxide dismutase by 89.5 and 51.8 % after 4-day P-deficient treatment, respectively. Moreover, one-day P deficiency elevated lignin accumulation. Root porosity of rice seedling under 2-day P-deficient treatment was 19.8 % higher than that under P-sufficient treatment. P deficiency also enhanced the release of both O₂ and total oxidative substances after 1- to 4-day P deficiency. In addition, results from electronic microscopy indicated that the thickness of root cell wall tended to increase after 2-day P-deficient treatment. Taken together, our results suggested that P-deficiency-induced enhancement of root oxidizing capacity in rice roots was probably associated with ROS production, antioxidant enzyme activity increment in root tissues, and the release of O₂ and oxidative substances from root inside to rhizosphere.