In low transpiring conditions, uncoupling the BnNrt2.1 and BnNrt1.1 NO 3(-) transporters by glutamate treatment reveals the essential role of BnNRT2.1 for nitrate uptake and the nitrate-signaling cascade during growth.
ABSTRACT: In plants, the nitrate transporters, NRT1.1 and NRT2.1, are mainly responsible for nitrate uptake. Intriguingly, both nitrate transporters are located in a complementary manner in different cells layers of the mature root suggesting that their coordination should occur during nitrate uptake and plant growth. This hypothesis was examined on 5-d-old rape seedlings grown on agar medium supplemented with 1 or 5mM nitrate. Seedlings were treated with increasing potassium glutamate concentrations in order to uncouple the two nitrate transporters by inhibiting BnNRT2.1 expression and activity specifically. In both nitrate treatments, increasing the glutamate concentrations from 0.5 to 10mM induced a reduction in (15)NO 3(-) uptake and an inhibition of N assimilation. The decrease in (15)NO 3(-) uptake was caused by downregulation of BnNRT2.1 expression but surprisingly it was not compensated by the upregulation of BnNRT1.1. This created an unprecedented physiological situation where the effects of the nitrate signal on shoot growth were solely modulated by nitrate absorption. In these conditions, the osmotic water flow for volumetric shoot growth was mainly dependent on active nitrate transport and nitrate signaling. This behavior was confirmed by the allometric relationships found between changes in the root length with (15)N and water accumulation in the shoot. These findings demonstrate that the BnNRT2.1 transporter is essential for nitrate uptake and growth, and renew the question of the respective roles of the NRT2.1 and NRT1.1 transporters in nitrate uptake and sensing at the whole plant level.
Project description:Identification of the mechanisms that control lead (Pb) concentration in plants is a prerequisite for minimizing dietary uptake of Pb from contaminated crops. This study examines how nitrate uptake by roots affects Pb uptake and reveals a new resistance strategy for plants to cope with Pb contamination. We investigated the interaction between nitrate transporter (NRT)-mediated NO3- uptake and exposure to Pb in Arabidopsis using NRT-related mutants. Exposure to Pb specifically stimulated NRT1.1-mediated nitrate uptake. Loss of function of NRT1.1 in nrt1.1-knockout mutants resulted in greater Pb toxicity and higher Pb accumulation in nitrate-sufficient growth medium, whereas no difference was seen between wild-type plants and null-mutants for NRT1.2, NRT2.1, NRT2.2, NRT2.4, and NRT2.5. These results indicate that only NRT1.1-mediated NO3- uptake alleviated Pb toxicity in the plants. Further examination indicated that rhizosphere acidification, which favors Pb entry to roots by increasing its availability, is prevented when NRT1.1 is functional and both NO3- and NH4+ are present in the medium.
Project description:Lateral root initiation is strongly repressed in Arabidopsis by the combination of high external sucrose and low external nitrate. A previously isolated mutant, lin1, can overcome this repression. Here, we show that lin1 carries a missense mutation in the NRT2.1 gene. Several allelic mutants, including one in which the NRT2.1 gene is completely deleted, show similar phenotypes to lin1 and fail to complement lin1. NRT2.1 encodes a putative high-affinity nitrate transporter that functions at low external nitrate concentrations. Direct measurement of nitrate uptake and nitrate content in the lin1 mutant seedlings established that both are indeed reduced. Because repression of lateral root initiation in WT plants can be relieved by increased concentrations of external nitrate, it is surprising to find that repression is also relieved by a defect in a component of the high-affinity nitrate uptake system. Furthermore, lateral root initiation is increased in lin1 relative to WT even when seedlings are grown on nitrate-free media, suggesting that the mutant phenotype is nitrate-independent. These results indicate that NRT2.1 is a repressor of lateral root initiation and that this role is independent of nitrate uptake. We propose that Arabidopsis NRT2.1 acts either as a nitrate sensor or signal transducer to coordinate the development of the root system with nutritional cues.
Project description:The NRT1/PTR family of proton-coupled transporters are responsible for nitrogen assimilation in eukaryotes and bacteria through the uptake of peptides. However, in most plant species members of this family have evolved to transport nitrate as well as additional secondary metabolites and hormones. In response to falling nitrate levels, NRT1.1 is phosphorylated on an intracellular threonine that switches the transporter from a low-affinity to high-affinity state. Here we present both the apo and nitrate-bound crystal structures of Arabidopsis thaliana NRT1.1, which together with in vitro binding and transport data identify a key role for His?356 in nitrate binding. Our data support a model whereby phosphorylation increases structural flexibility and in turn the rate of transport. Comparison with peptide transporters further reveals how the NRT1/PTR family has evolved to recognize diverse nitrogenous ligands, while maintaining elements of a conserved coupling mechanism within this superfamily of nutrient transporters.
Project description:Abiotic stress induces nitrate (NO3 -) allocation to roots, which increases stress tolerance in plants. NRT1.1 is broadly involved in abiotic stress tolerance in plants, but the relationship between NRT1.1 and NO3 - allocation under stress conditions is unclear. In this study, we found that Arabidopsis wild-type Col-0 was more cadmium (Cd2+)-tolerant than the nrt1.1 mutant at 20 ?M CdCl2. Cd2+ exposure repressed NRT1.5 but upregulated NRT1.8 in roots of Col-0 plants, resulting in increased NO3 - allocation to roots and higher [NO3 -] root-to-shoot (R:S) ratios. Interestingly, NITRATE REGULATORY GENE2 (NRG2) was upregulated by Cd2+ stress in Col-0 but not in nrt1.1. Under Cd2+ stress, nrg2 and nrg2-3chl1-13 mutants exhibited similar phenotypes and NO3 - allocation patterns as observed in the nrt1.1 mutant, but overexpression of NRG2 in Col-0 and nrt1.1 increased the [NO3 -] R:S ratio and restored Cd2+ stress tolerance. Our results indicated that NRT1.1 and NRG2 regulated Cd2+ stress-induced NO3 - allocation to roots and that NRG2 functioned downstream of NRT1.1. Cd2+ uptake did not differ between Col-0 and nrt1.1, but Cd2+ allocation to roots was higher in Col-0 than in nrt1.1. Stressed Col-0 plants increased Cd2+ and NO3 - allocation to root vacuoles, which reduced their cytosolic allocation and transport to the shoots. Our results suggest that NRT1.1 regulates NO3 - allocation to roots by coordinating Cd2+ accumulation in root vacuoles, which facilitates Cd2+ detoxification.
Project description:We analyzed how changes in BnNrt nitrate transporter gene expression induced by nitrate are associated with morphological changes in plantlets and osmotic water flow for growth. We hypothesized that in a Petri dish system, reduction in transpiration should induce conditions where nitrate and water fluxes for growth depend directly on nitrate transporter activity and nitrate signaling. Rape seedlings growing on agar plates were supplied with increasing external K (15)NO 3 concentrations from 0.05 to 20 mM. After 5 d of treatment, morphological switches in plantlet growth were observed between 0.5 and 5 mM nitrate supply. Root elongation was reduced by 50% while the cotyledon surface area was doubled. These morphological switches were strongly associated with increases in (15)NO 3(-) and water uptake rates as well as (15)N and water allocation to the shoot. These switches were also highly correlated with the upregulation of BnNrt1.1 and BnNrt2.1 in the root. However, while root expression of BnNrt2.1 was correlated linearly with a shoot growth-associated increase in (15)N and water uptake, BnNrt1.1 expression was correlated exponentially with both (15)N and water accumulation. In low transpiring conditions, the tight control exercised by nitrate transporters on K (15)NO 3 uptake and allocation clearly demonstrates that they modulated the nitrate-signaling cascade involved in cell growth and as a consequence, water uptake and allocation to the growing organs. Deciphering this signaling cascade in relation to acid growth theory seems to be the most important challenge for our understanding of the nitrate-signaling role in plant growth.
Project description:Nitrate is a primary nutrient for plant growth, but its levels in soil can fluctuate by several orders of magnitude. Previous studies have identified Arabidopsis NRT1.1 as a dual-affinity nitrate transporter that can take up nitrate over a wide range of concentrations. The mode of action of NRT1.1 is controlled by phosphorylation of a key residue, Thr 101; however, how this post-translational modification switches the transporter between two affinity states remains unclear. Here we report the crystal structure of unphosphorylated NRT1.1, which reveals an unexpected homodimer in the inward-facing conformation. In this low-affinity state, the Thr 101 phosphorylation site is embedded in a pocket immediately adjacent to the dimer interface, linking the phosphorylation status of the transporter to its oligomeric state. Using a cell-based fluorescence resonance energy transfer assay, we show that functional NRT1.1 dimerizes in the cell membrane and that the phosphomimetic mutation of Thr 101 converts the protein into a monophasic high-affinity transporter by structurally decoupling the dimer. Together with analyses of the substrate transport tunnel, our results establish a phosphorylation-controlled dimerization switch that allows NRT1.1 to uptake nitrate with two distinct affinity modes.
Project description:Plants modulate the efficiency of root nitrogen (N) acquisition in response to shoot N demand. However, molecular components directly involved in this shoot-to-root communication remain to be identified. Here, we show that phloem-mobile CEPD-like 2 (CEPDL2) polypeptide is upregulated in the leaf vasculature in response to decreased shoot N status and, after translocation to the roots, promotes high-affinity uptake and root-to-shoot transport of nitrate by activating nitrate transporter genes such as NRT2.1, NRT3.1 and NRT1.5. Loss of CEPDL2 decreases nitrate uptake and root-to-shoot transport activity in roots, leading to a reduction in shoot nitrate content and plant biomass. CEPDL2 contributes to N acquisition cooperatively with CEPD1 and CEPD2 that mediate root N status, and their complete loss severely impairs N homeostasis in plants. Reciprocal grafting analysis provided conclusive evidence that the shoot CEPDL2/CEPD genotype defines the root high-affinity uptake activity of nitrate. Our results indicate that plants integrate shoot N status and root N status in leaves and systemically regulate the efficiency of root N acquisition. Overall design: Genome wide transcriptome analysis of roots of WT and CEPDL2ox plants grown under 10 mM nitrate condition
Project description:Nitrate regulates plant growth and development and acts as a potent signal to control gene expression in Arabidopsis. Using an integrative bioinformatics approach we identified TGA1 and TGA4 as putative regulatory factors that mediate nitrate responses in Arabidopsis thaliana roots. We showed that both TGA1 and TGA4 mRNAs accumulate strongly and quickly after nitrate treatments in root organs in a tissue-specific manner. Phenotypic analysis of tga1/tga4 double mutant plants indicated that TGA1 and TGA4 are necessary for nitrate modulation of both primary and lateral root growth. Global gene expression analysis revealed that 97% of the genes with altered expression in tga1/tga4 double mutant plants are regulated by nitrate treatments indicating these transcription factors have a specific role in nitrate responses in Arabidopsis root organs. Among the nitrate-responsive genes that depend on TGA1/TGA4 for normal regulation of gene expression, we found nitrate transporters NRT2.1, NRT2.2 and nitrite reductase (NIR) genes. Specific binding of TGA1 to its cognate DNA sequence on the target gene promoters was confirmed by chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. These results identify TGA1 and TGA4 as important regulatory factors of the nitrate response in Arabidopsis roots. Arabidopsis seedlings of the Col-0 and tga1/tga4 genotypes were grown on hydroponic medium containing 1X MS salts without Nitrogen, supplemented with 0.5 mM ammonium succinate as Nitrogen source and 3 mM sucrose on a Percival chamber under a photoperiod of 16 hours of light (100 ?E/m2/sec) and 8 hours of dark at 22°C for 14 days. The plants were treated at the onset of the light cycle with 5 mM KNO3 or 5 mM KCl as control for 2 hours. Whole roots were cut from seedlings and frozen on liquid Nitrogen. Total RNA was extracted using the TriZol reagent. 3 independent biological replicates were performed.
Project description:Nitrate signaling integrates and coordinates gene expression and plant growth; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms involved remain poorly understood. Our previous study revealed that rice calcineurin B-like protein 1 (OsCBL1) modulates lateral root elongation by affecting auxin biosynthesis. Here, we report that OsCBL1 also modulates nitrate signaling to regulate rice seedlings growth. Compared with wild-type seedlings, seedlings of OsCBL1-knockdown (OsCBL1-KD) plants showed a suppressed growth phenotype, which included reduced root and shoot fresh weights and shorter radicles, crown roots, and lateral roots, when grown in nitrogen-free conditions. Although the growth defects of OsCBL1-KD plants could be partially rescued by the addition of nitrate to the growth conditions, the nitrate uptake capability of the OsCBL1-KD plants did not differ from that of wild-type plants as assessed via nitrate content and 15NO3- influx experiments. The nitrate-regulated expression of nitrate signal sentinel genes (OsNRT2.1 and OsNRT2.2) was affected in the OsCBL1-KD plants under both long- and short-term nitrate treatments. Overall, our results showed a novel role for OsCBL1 in the regulation of nitrate signaling and nitrate-mediated rice growth.
Project description:Poaceae plants release 2'-deoxymugineic acid (DMA) and related phytosiderophores to chelate iron (Fe), which often exists as insoluble Fe(III) in the rhizosphere, especially under high pH conditions. Although the molecular mechanisms behind the biosynthesis and secretion of DMA have been studied extensively, little information is known about whether DMA has biological roles other than chelating Fe in vivo. Here, we demonstrate that hydroponic cultures of rice (Oryza sativa) seedlings show almost complete restoration in shoot height and soil-plant analysis development (SPAD) values after treatment with 3-30 ?m DMA at high pH (pH 8.0), compared with untreated control seedlings at normal pH (pH 5.8). These changes were accompanied by selective accumulation of Fe over other metals. While this enhanced growth was evident under high pH conditions, DMA application also enhanced seedling growth under normal pH conditions in which Fe was fairly accessible. Microarray and qRT-PCR analyses revealed that exogenous DMA application attenuated the increased expression levels of various genes related to Fe transport and accumulation. Surprisingly, despite the preferential utilization of ammonium over nitrate as a nitrogen source by rice, DMA application also increased nitrate reductase activity and the expression of genes encoding high-affinity nitrate transporters and nitrate reductases, all of which were otherwise considerably lower under high pH conditions. These data suggest that exogenous DMA not only plays an important role in facilitating the uptake of environmental Fe, but also orchestrates Fe and nitrate assimilation for optimal growth under high pH conditions.