Grain phosphorus (P) and phytate contents are important for early growth and quality of wheat, respectively. We studied seed P and phytate contents of 57 wheat genotypes released during last 6 decades. The grain total P and phytate P concentrations ranged from 2.0 to 8.9 mg g−1 and 1.6 to 4.7 mg g−1, respectively. Grain P was higher in genotypes released in current or last decade than pre-green revolution period and it correlated well with grain phytate contents. Indicating that breeders worked only for increased grain P and did not consider the phytate contents. Twenty-five genotypes were selected based on differences in grain P and phytate contents to observe the P use efficiency under field conditions. Genotypes differed significantly for grain P and yield at both 0 and 60 kg ha−1 P levels. In conclusion, phytate fraction in grains of recent wheat genotypes was more as compared to old genotypes and genotype Inqlab-91 and Chakwal-86 had maximum grain total P. Moreover, number of productive tillers, spikelet per spike, grain weight, harvest index and grain P concentration and uptake were found responsible for P tolerance under P deficiency.