Overexpression of Arabidopsis NLP7 improves plant growth under both nitrogen-limiting and -sufficient conditions by enhancing nitrogen and carbon assimilation.
ABSTRACT: Nitrogen is essential for plant survival and growth. Excessive application of nitrogenous fertilizer has generated serious environment pollution and increased production cost in agriculture. To deal with this problem, tremendous efforts have been invested worldwide to increase the nitrogen use ability of crops. However, only limited success has been achieved to date. Here we report that NLP7 (NIN-LIKE PROTEIN 7) is a potential candidate to improve plant nitrogen use ability. When overexpressed in Arabidopsis, NLP7 increases plant biomass under both nitrogen-poor and -rich conditions with better-developed root system and reduced shoot/root ratio. NLP7-overexpressing plants show a significant increase in key nitrogen metabolites, nitrogen uptake, total nitrogen content, and expression levels of genes involved in nitrogen assimilation and signalling. More importantly, overexpression of NLP7 also enhances photosynthesis rate and carbon assimilation, whereas knockout of NLP7 impaired both nitrogen and carbon assimilation. In addition, NLP7 improves plant growth and nitrogen use in transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum). Our results demonstrate that NLP7 significantly improves plant growth under both nitrogen-poor and -rich conditions by coordinately enhancing nitrogen and carbon assimilation and sheds light on crop improvement.
Project description:Nutrient signalling integrates and coordinates gene expression, metabolism and growth. However, its primary molecular mechanisms remain incompletely understood in plants and animals. Here we report unique Ca2+ signalling triggered by nitrate with live imaging of an ultrasensitive biosensor in Arabidopsis leaves and roots. A nitrate-sensitized and targeted functional genomic screen identifies subgroup III Ca2+-sensor protein kinases (CPKs) as master regulators that orchestrate primary nitrate responses. A chemical switch with the engineered mutant CPK10(M141G) circumvents embryo lethality and enables conditional analyses of cpk10 cpk30 cpk32 triple mutants to define comprehensive nitrate-associated regulatory and developmental programs. Nitrate-coupled CPK signalling phosphorylates conserved NIN-LIKE PROTEIN (NLP) transcription factors to specify the reprogramming of gene sets for downstream transcription factors, transporters, nitrogen assimilation, carbon/nitrogen metabolism, redox, signalling, hormones and proliferation. Conditional cpk10 cpk30 cpk32 and nlp7 mutants similarly impair nitrate-stimulated system-wide shoot growth and root establishment. The nutrient-coupled Ca2+ signalling network integrates transcriptome and cellular metabolism with shoot-root coordination and developmental plasticity in shaping organ biomass and architecture.
Project description:Dynamic reprogramming of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) enables organisms to rapidly respond to environmental perturbation. However, the underlying transient interactions between transcription factors (TFs) and genome-wide targets typically elude biochemical detection. Here, we capture both stable and transient TF-target interactions genome-wide within minutes after controlled TF nuclear import using time-series chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP-seq) and/or DNA adenine methyltransferase identification (DamID-seq). The transient TF-target interactions captured uncover the early mode-of-action of NIN-LIKE PROTEIN 7 (NLP7), a master regulator of the nitrogen signaling pathway in plants. These transient NLP7 targets captured in root cells using temporal TF perturbation account for 50% of NLP7-regulated genes not detectably bound by NLP7 in planta. Rapid and transient NLP7 binding activates early nitrogen response TFs, which we validate to amplify the NLP7-initiated transcriptional cascade. Our approaches to capture transient TF-target interactions genome-wide can be applied to validate dynamic GRN models for any pathway or organism of interest.
Project description:Plants have evolved adaptive strategies that involve transcriptional networks to cope with and survive environmental challenges. Key transcriptional regulators that mediate responses to environmental fluctuations in nitrate have been identified; however, little is known about how these regulators interact to orchestrate nitrogen (N) responses and cell-cycle regulation. Here we report that teosinte branched1/cycloidea/proliferating cell factor1-20 (TCP20) and NIN-like protein (NLP) transcription factors NLP6 and NLP7, which act as activators of nitrate assimilatory genes, bind to adjacent sites in the upstream promoter region of the nitrate reductase gene, NIA1, and physically interact under continuous nitrate and N-starvation conditions. Regions of these proteins necessary for these interactions were found to include the type I/II Phox and Bem1p (PB1) domains of NLP6&7, a protein-interaction module conserved in animals for nutrient signaling, and the histidine- and glutamine-rich domain of TCP20, which is conserved across plant species. Under N starvation, TCP20-NLP6&7 heterodimers accumulate in the nucleus, and this coincides with TCP20 and NLP6&7-dependent up-regulation of nitrate assimilation and signaling genes and down-regulation of the G2/M cell-cycle marker gene, CYCB1;1 TCP20 and NLP6&7 also support root meristem growth under N starvation. These findings provide insights into how plants coordinate responses to nitrate availability, linking nitrate assimilation and signaling with cell-cycle progression.
Project description:Omeprazole is a selective proton pump inhibitor in humans that inhibits the H+/K+-ATPase of gastric parietal cells. Omeprazole has been recently shown to act as a plant growth regulator and enhancer of salt stress tolerance. Here, we report that omeprazole treatment in hydroponically grown maize improves nitrogen uptake and assimilation. The presence of micromolar concentrations of omeprazole in the nutrient solution alleviates the chlorosis and growth inhibition induced by low nitrogen availability. Nitrate uptake and assimilation is enhanced in omeprazole treated plants through changes in nitrate reductase activity, primary metabolism, and gene expression. Omeprazole enhances nitrate assimilation through an interaction with nitrate reductase, altering its activation state and affinity for nitrate as a substrate. Omeprazole and its targets represent a novel method for enhancing nitrogen use efficiency in plants.
Project description:The importance of organic nitrogen (N) for plant nutrition and productivity is increasingly being recognized. Here we show that it is not only the availability in the soil that matters, but also the effects on plant growth. The chemical form of N taken up, whether inorganic (such as nitrate) or organic (such as amino acids), may significantly influence plant shoot and root growth, and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). We analysed these effects by synthesizing results from multiple laboratory experiments on small seedlings (Arabidopsis, poplar, pine and spruce) based on a tractable plant growth model. A key point is that the carbon cost of assimilating organic N into proteins is lower than that of inorganic N, mainly because of its carbon content. This carbon bonus makes it more beneficial for plants to take up organic than inorganic N, even when its availability to the roots is much lower - up to 70% lower for Arabidopsis seedlings. At equal growth rate, root:shoot ratio was up to three times higher and nitrogen productivity up to 20% higher for organic than inorganic N, which both are factors that may contribute to higher NUE in crop production.
Project description:The use of mixed nitrate and ammonium as a nitrogen source can improve plant growth. Here, we used metabolomics and transcriptomics to study the underlying mechanisms. Maize plants were grown hydroponically in the presence of three forms of nitrogen (nitrate alone, 75%/25% nitrate/ammonium, and ammonium alone). Plants grown with mixed nitrogen had a higher photosynthetic rate than those supplied only with nitrate, and had the highest leaf area and shoot and root biomass among the three nitrogen treatments. In shoot and root, the concentration of nitrogenous compounds (ammonium, glutamine, and asparagine) and carbohydrates (sucrose, glucose, and fructose) in plants with a mixed nitrogen supply was higher than that with nitrate supply, but lower than that with ammonium supply. The activity of the related enzymes (glutamate synthase, asparagine synthase, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase, invertase, and ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase) changed accordingly. Specifically, the mixed nitrogen source enhanced auxin synthesis via the shikimic acid pathway, as indicated by the higher levels of phosphoenolpyruvate and tryptophan compared with the other two treatments. The expression of corresponding genes involving auxin synthesis and response was up-regulated. Supply of only ammonium resulted in high levels of glutamine and asparagine, starch, and trehalose hexaphosphate. We conclude that, in addition to increased photosynthesis, mixed nitrogen supply enhances leaf growth via increasing auxin synthesis to build a large sink for carbon and nitrogen utilization, which, in turn, facilitates further carbon assimilation and nitrogen uptake.
Project description:The root cap surrounds the root meristem, protecting it from harsh environments and facilitating root movement through soil. In Arabidopsis, new root cap cells produced in the meristem displace older cells toward the root periphery, where they undergo programmed cell death and are released from the root. This rapid cell turnover is a unique feature of the root cap and is modulated in part by the combined action of four NAC transcription factors, as well as cell wall modification enzymes. Here we show that the transcription factor NIN-LIKE PROTEIN 7 (NLP7) regulates root cap maturation in Arabidopsis by modulating expression of each of the NAC TFs as well as several cell wall modifying enzymes. NLP7 is a homolog of NIN, a transcription factor required for nodulation in Lotus japonicas, and is highly expressed in the columella root cap. Mutants have altered columella root cap development and decreased levels of homogalacturonan, a major component of pectin. Reverse genetic analysis of genes differentially expressed in nlp7 roots showed that two cell wall modifying enzymes, CELLULASE5 and XTH5, modulate root cap maturation likely downstream of NLP7. Plant cell wall modification is critical for nodulation, and we propose that this characteristic is also present in NLPs. We used microarrays to identify the differences in gene expression between whole roots of WT and nlp7-1 Arabidopsis plants Roots were cut at the root/hypocotyl junction and collected into RLT buffer in the RNeasy plant mini kit. Approximately 60 roots were collected per replicate, with two biological replicates. RNA was extracted using the RNeasy Micro Kit. Probes for array analysis were preparedfrom 1μg total RNA with the one-cycle amplification protocol by Affymetrix according to the manufacturer's instructions. Samples were submitted to Expression Analysis Inc. (Durham, NC) for hybridization to Arabidopsis Whole Genome ATH1 Affymetrix GeneChips.
Project description:In plants, several cellular and metabolic pathways interact with each other to regulate processes that are vital for their growth and development. Carbon (C) and Nitrogen (N) are two main nutrients for plants and coordination of C and N pathways is an important factor for maintaining plant growth and development. In the present work, influence of nitrogen and sucrose (C source) on growth parameters and expression of genes involved in nitrogen transport and assimilatory pathways was studied in B. juncea seedlings. For this, B. juncea seedlings were treated with four combinations of C and N source viz., N source alone (-Suc+N), C source alone (+Suc-N), with N and C source (+Suc+N) or without N and C source (-Suc-N). Cotyledon size and shoot length were found to be increased in seedlings, when nitrogen alone was present in the medium. Distinct expression pattern of genes in both, root and shoot tissues was observed in response to exogenously supplied N and C. The presence or depletion of nitrogen alone in the medium leads to severe up- or down-regulation of key genes involved in N-uptake and transport (BjNRT1.1, BjNRT1.8) in root tissue and genes involved in nitrate reduction (BjNR1 and BjNR2) in shoot tissue. Moreover, expression of several genes, like BjAMT1.2, BjAMT2 and BjPK in root and two genes BjAMT2 and BjGS1.1 in shoot were found to be regulated only when C source was present in the medium. Majority of genes were found to respond in root and shoot tissues, when both C and N source were present in the medium, thus reflecting their importance as a signal in regulating expression of genes involved in N-uptake and assimilation. The present work provides insight into the regulation of genes of N-uptake and assimilatory pathway in B. juncea by interaction of both carbon and nitrogen.
Project description:Nitrogen (N) is an extremely important macronutrient for plant growth and development. It is the main limiting factor in most agricultural production. However, it is well known that the nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of rice gradually decreases with the increase of the nitrogen application rate. In order to clarify the underlying metabolic and molecular mechanisms of this phenomenon, we performed an integrated analysis of the rice transcriptome and metabolome. Both differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and metabolite Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis indicated that carbon and nitrogen metabolism is significantly affected by nitrogen availability. Further analysis of carbon and nitrogen metabolism changes in rice under different nitrogen availability showed that high N inhibits nitrogen assimilation and aromatic metabolism pathways by regulating carbon metabolism pathways such as the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP). Under low nitrogen, the TCA cycle is promoted to produce more energy and α-ketoglutarate, thereby enhancing nitrogen transport and assimilation. PPP is also inhibited by low N, which may be consistent with the lower NADPH demand under low nitrogen. Additionally, we performed a co-expression network analysis of genes and metabolites related to carbon and nitrogen metabolism. In total, 15 genes were identified as hub genes. In summary, this study reveals the influence of nitrogen levels on the regulation mechanisms for carbon and nitrogen metabolism in rice and provides new insights into coordinating carbon and nitrogen metabolism and improving nitrogen use efficiency in rice.
Project description:Poplars have evolved various strategies to optimize acclimation responses to environmental conditions. However, how poplars balance growth and nitrogen deficiency remains to be elucidated. In the present study, changes in root development, carbon and nitrogen physiology, and the transcript abundance of associated genes were investigated in slow-growing Populus simonii (Ps) and fast-growing Populus euramericana (Pe) saplings treated with low, medium, and high nitrogen supply. The slow-growing Ps showed a flourishing system, higher ?15N, accelerated C export, lower N uptake and assimilation, and less sensitive transcriptional regulation in response to low N supply. The slow-growing Ps also had greater resistance to N deficiency due to the transport of photosynthate to the roots and the stimulation of root development, which allows survival. To support its rapid metabolism and growth, compared with the slow-growing Ps, the fast-growing Pe showed greater root development, C/N uptake and assimilation capacity, and more responsive transcriptional regulation with greater N supply. These data suggest that poplars can differentially manage C/N metabolism and photosynthate allocation under different N supply conditions.