Transition from a maternal to external nitrogen source in maize seedlings.
ABSTRACT: Maximizing NO3- uptake during seedling development is important as it has a major influence on plant growth and yield. However, little is known about the processes leading to, and involved in, the initiation of root NO3- uptake capacity in developing seedlings. This study examines the physiological processes involved in root NO3- uptake and metabolism, to gain an understanding of how the NO3- uptake system responds to meet demand as maize seedlings transition from seed N use to external N capture. The concentrations of seed-derived free amino acids within root and shoot tissues are initially high, but decrease rapidly until stabilizing eight days after imbibition (DAI). Similarly, shoot N% decreases, but does not stabilize until 12-13 DAI. Following the decrease in free amino acid concentrations, root NO3- uptake capacity increases until shoot N% stabilizes. The increase in root NO3- uptake capacity corresponds with a rapid rise in transcript levels of putative NO3- transporters, ZmNRT2.1 and ZmNRT2.2. The processes underlying the increase in root NO3- uptake capacity to meet N demand provide an insight into the processes controlling N uptake.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Nitrate uptake is a highly regulated process. Understanding the intricate interactions between nitrate availability and genetically-controlled nitrate acquisition and metabolism is essential for improving nitrogen use efficiency and increasing nitrate uptake capacity for plants grown in both nitrate-poor and nitrate-enriched environments. In this report, we introduced into tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) the constitutively expressed maize high-affinity transporter ZmNrt2.1 gene that would bypass the tight control for the endogenous nitrate-responsive genes. By using calcium inhibitors and varying levels of NO3-, Ca2+ and K+, we probed how the host plants were affected in their nitrate response. RESULTS:We found that the ZmNrt2.1-expressing plants had better root growth than the wild type plants when Ca2+ was deficient regardless of the nitrate levels. The growth restriction associated with Ca2+-deficiency can be alleviated with a high level of K+. Furthermore, the transgenic plants exhibited altered expression patterns of several endogenous, nitrate-responsive genes, including the high- and low-affinity nitrate transporters, the Bric-a-Brac/Tramtrack/Broad protein BT2 and the transcription factor TGA-binding protein TGA1, in responding to treatments of NO3-, K+ or inhibitors for the calcium channel and the cytosolic Ca2+-regulating phospholipase C, as compared to the wild type plants under the same treatments. Their expression was not only responsive to nitrate, but also affected by Ca2+. There were also different patterns of gene expression between roots and shoots. CONCLUSION:Our results demonstrate the ectopic effect of the maize nitrate transporter on the host plant's overall gene expression of nitrate sensing system, and further highlight the involvement of calcium in nitrate sensing in tobacco plants.
Project description:Potassium in plants accounts for up to 10% dry weight, and participates in different physiological processes. Under drought stress, plant requires more potassium but potassium availability in soil solutes is lowered by decreased soil water content. Forming symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi not only enlarges exploration range of plant for mineral nutrients and water in soil, but also improves plant drought tolerance. However, the regulation of AM fungi on plant root potassium uptake and translocation from root to shoot was less reported. In current study, the effect of an AM fungus (Rhizophagus irregularis), potassium application (0, 2, and 8 mM), and drought stress (30% field capacity) on Lycium barbarum growth and potassium status was analyzed. Ten weeks after inoculation, R. irregularis colonized more than 58% roots of L. barbarum seedlings, and increased plant growth as well as potassium content. Potassium application increased colonization rate of R. irregularis, plant growth, potassium content, and decreased root/shoot ratio. Drought stress increased colonization rate of R. irregularis and potassium content. Expression of two putative potassium channel genes in root, LbKT1 and LbSKOR, was positively correlated with potassium content in root and leaves, as well as the colonization rate of R. irregularis. The increased L. barbarum growth, potassium content and genes expression, especially under drought stress, suggested that R. irregularis could improve potassium uptake of L. barbarum root and translocation from root to shoot. Whether AM fungi could form a specific mycorrhizal pathway for plant potassium uptake deserves further studies.
Project description:Modified gibberellin (GA) signaling leads to semi-dwarfism with low nitrogen (N) use efficiency (NUE) in crops. An understanding of GA-mediated N uptake is essential for the development of crops with improved NUE. The function of GA in modulating N uptake capacity and nitrate (NO3-) transporters (NRTs) was analyzed in the GA synthesis-deficient mutant zmga3ox grown under low (LN) and sufficient (SN) N conditions. LN significantly suppressed the production of GA1, GA3, and GA4, and the zmga3ox plants showed more sensitivity in shoots as well as LN stress. Moreover, the higher anthocyanin accumulation and the decrease of chlorophyll content were also recorded. The net NO3- fluxes and 15N content were decreased in zmga3ox plants under both LN and SN conditions. Exogenous GA3 could restore the NO3- uptake in zmga3ox plants, but uniconazole repressed NO3- uptake. Moreover, the transcript levels of ZmNRT2.1/2.2 were downregulated in zmga3ox plants, while the GA3 application enhanced the expression level. Furthermore, the RNA-seq analyses identified several transcription factors that are involved in the GA-mediated transcriptional operation of NRTs related genes. These findings revealed that GAs influenced N uptake involved in the transcriptional regulation of NRTs and physiological responses in maize responding to nitrogen supply.
Project description:The Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) of grain cereals depends on nitrate (NO3-) uptake from the soil, translocation to the aerial parts, nitrogen (N) assimilation and remobilization to the grains. Brachypodium distachyon has been proposed as a model species to identify the molecular players and mechanisms that affects these processes, for the improvement of temperate C3 cereals. We report on the developmental, physiological and grain-characteristic responses of the Bd21-3 accession of Brachypodium to variations in NO3- availability. As previously described in wheat and barley, we show that vegetative growth, shoot/root ratio, tiller formation, spike development, tissue NO3- and N contents, grain number per plant, grain yield and grain N content are sensitive to pre- and/or post-anthesis NO3- supply. We subsequently described constitutive and NO3--inducible components of both High and Low Affinity Transport Systems (HATS and LATS) for root NO3- uptake, and BdNRT2/3 candidate genes potentially involved in the HATS. Taken together, our data validate Brachypodium Bd21-3 as a model to decipher cereal N nutrition. Apparent specificities such as high grain N content, strong post-anthesis NO3- uptake and efficient constitutive HATS, further identify Brachypodium as a direct source of knowledge for crop improvement.
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:Plants face temporal and spatial variation in nitrogen (N) availability. This includes heterogeneity in soil nitrate (NO3-) content. To face these constraints, plants modify their gene expression and physiological processes to optimize N acquisition. This plasticity relies on a complex long-distance root-shoot-root signaling network that remains poorly understood. We previously showed that cytokinin (CK) biosynthesis is required to trigger systemic N signaling. Here, we performed split-root experiments and used a combination of CK-related mutant analyses, hormone profiling, transcriptomic analysis, NO3- uptake assays, and root growth measurements to gain insight into systemic N signaling in Arabidopsis thaliana. By comparing wild-type plants and mutants affected in CK biosynthesis and ABCG14-dependent root-to-shoot translocation of CK, we revealed an important role for active trans-Zeatin (tZ) in systemic N signaling. Both rapid sentinel gene regulation and long-term functional acclimation to heterogeneous NO3- supply, including NO3- transport and root growth regulation, are likely mediated by the integration of tZ content in shoots. Furthermore, shoot transcriptome profiling revealed that glutamate/glutamine metabolism is likely a target of tZ root-to-shoot translocation, prompting an interesting hypothesis regarding shoot-to-root communication. Finally, this study highlights tZ-independent pathways regulating gene expression in shoots as well as NO3- uptake activity in response to total N-deprivation. We used microarrays to detail transcriptional reprogramming occurring in shoots in response to heterogeneous nitrate supply compared to homogeneous nitrate supply in wild-type Arabidopsis thaliana plants and in two mutants affected in cytokinin biosynthesis and transport. Overall design: Plants were grown in homogeneous medium containing sufficient nitrogen and the root system was divided in two parts (around day 14 after germination). The plants were transferred in split-root plates (around Day 18) containing 1mM KNO3 on both sides of the plates (C.KNO3) or in heterogeneous media containing 1mM KNO3 on one side and 1mM KCl on the other side (Split). Plants (Col-0, ipt3,5,7 and abcg14) were collected 24hours after the beginning of the treatment. This experiment has been replicated 4 times (4 independent experiments) and in each experiment three plants have been pooled in one sample.
Project description:Nitrogen (N) is an essential macronutrient for plant growth. Plants absorb and utilize N mainly in the form of nitrate (NO3-) or ammonium (NH4+). In this study, the nitrate transporter DsNRT3.1 (also known as the nitrate assimilation-related protein DsNAR2.1) was characterized from Dianthus spiculifolius. A quantitative PCR (qPCR) analysis showed that the DsNRT3.1 expression was induced by NO3-. Under N-starvation conditions, the transformed Arabidopsis seedlings expressing DsNRT3.1 had longer roots and a greater fresh weight than the wild type. Subcellular localization showed that DsNRT3.1 was mainly localized to the plasma membrane in Arabidopsis root hair cells. Non-invasive micro-test (NMT) monitoring showed that the root hairs of N-starved transformed Arabidopsis seedlings had a stronger NO3- and NH4+ influx than the wild-type seedlings, using with NO3- or NH4+ as the sole N source; contrastingly, transformed seedlings only had a stronger NO3- influx when NO3- and NH4+ were present simultaneously. In addition, the qPCR analysis showed that the expression of AtNRT2 genes (AtNRT2.1-2.6), and particularly of AtNRT2.5, in the transformed Arabidopsis differed from that in the wild type. Overall, our results suggest that the heterologous expression of DsNRT3.1 affects seedlings' growth by enhancing the NO3- and NH4+ uptake in N-starved Arabidopsis. This may be related to the differential expression of AtNRT2 genes.
Project description:The present study with young poplar trees aimed at characterizing the effect of O2 shortage in the soil on net uptake of NO3- and NH4+ and the spatial distribution of the N taken up. Moreover, we assessed biomass increment as well as N status of the trees affected by O2 deficiency. For this purpose, an experiment was conducted in which hydroponically grown young poplar trees were exposed to hypoxic and normoxic (control) conditions for 14 days. 15N-labelled NO3- and NH4+ were used to elucidate N uptake and distribution of currently absorbed N and N allocation rates in the plants. Whereas shoot biomass was not affected by soil O2 deficiency, it significantly reduced root biomass and, consequently, the root-to-shoot ratio. Uptake of NO3- but not of NH4+ by the roots of the trees was severely impaired by hypoxia. As a consequence of reduced N uptake, the N content of all poplar tissues was significantly diminished. Under normoxic control conditions, the spatial distribution of currently absorbed N and N allocation rates differed depending on the N source. Whereas NO3- derived N was mainly transported to the younger parts of the shoot, particularly to the developing and young mature leaves, N derived from NH4+ was preferentially allocated to older parts of the shoot, mainly to wood and bark. Soil O2 deficiency enhanced this differential allocation pattern. From these results we assume that NO3- was assimilated in developing tissues and preferentially used to maintain growth and ensure plant survival under hypoxia, whereas NH4+ based N was used for biosynthesis of storage proteins in bark and wood of the trees. Still, further studies are needed to understand the mechanistic basis as well as the eco-physiological advantages of such differential allocation patterns.
Project description:Nitrogen (N) supply, including NO3--N and organic N in the form of amino acids can influence the morphological attributes of plants. For example, amino acids contribute to plant nutrition; however, the effects of exogenous amino acids on NO3--N uptake and root morphology have received little attention. In this study, we evaluated the effects of exogenous glycine (Gly) on root growth and NO3--N uptake in pak choi (Brassica campestris ssp. Chinensis L.). Addition of Gly to NO3--N agar medium or hydroponic solution significantly decreased pak choi seedling root length; these effects of Gly on root morphology were not attributed to the proportion of N supply derived from Gly. When pak choi seedlings were exposed to mixtures of Gly and NO3--N in hydroponic culture, Gly significantly reduced 15NO3--N uptake but significantly increased the number of root tips per unit root length, root activity and 15NO3--N uptake rate per unit root length. In addition, 15N-Gly was taken up into the plants. In contrast to absorbed NO3--N, which was mostly transported to the shoots, a larger proportion of absorbed Gly was retained in the roots. Exogenous Gly enhanced root 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase (ACS) and oxidase (ACO) activities and ethylene production. The ethylene antagonists aminoethoxyvinylglycine (0.5 ?M AVG) and silver nitrate (10 ?M AgNO3) partly reversed Gly-induced inhibition of primary root elongation on agar plates and increased the NO3--N uptake rate under hydroponic conditions, indicating exogenous Gly exerts these effects at least partly by enhancing ethylene production in roots. These findings suggest Gly substantially affects root morphology and N uptake and provide new information on the specific responses elicited by organic N sources.
Project description:NO3- is not only a nutrient, but also a signaling compound that plays an important role in several plant processes, like root development. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of three different exogenous C compounds (sucrose, glucose, 2-oxoglutarate) added to NO3- nutrition on C/N, auxin and antioxidant metabolisms in 10-day-old tomato seedlings. Sucrose and glucose supplementation enhanced primary root (PR) length, lateral root number and root density, while 2-oxoglutarate negatively affected them. This phenomenon was accompanied by a slight increase in NRT2.1 and GS1 gene expression, together with an increase in LAX2 and LAX3 and a decrease in LAX4 in the roots growing under sucrose and glucose sources. The addition of 2-oxoglutarate enhanced the expression of NiR, GDH, PEPC1, LAX1, LAX3 and the antioxidant gene SOD Cl. Taken together, these findings contribute to a better understanding of how these C sources can modulate N uptake and C/N, auxin and antioxidant gene expression, which could be useful for improving nitrogen use efficiency.