Variation for N Uptake System in Maize: Genotypic Response to N Supply
Rafalski, J. Antoni
Tester, Mark A.
Kaiser, Brent N.
KAUST DepartmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Plant Science Program
Desert Agriculture Initiative
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractAn understanding of the adaptations made by plants in their nitrogen (N) uptake systems in response to reduced N supply is important to the development of cereals with enhanced N uptake efficiency (NUpE). Twenty seven diverse genotypes of maize (Zea mays, L.) were grown in hydroponics for 3 weeks with limiting or adequate N supply. Genotypic response to N was assessed on the basis of biomass characteristics and the activities of the nitrate (NO−3) and ammonium (NH+4) high-affinity transport systems. Genotypes differed greatly for the ability to maintain biomass with reduced N. Although, the N response in underlying biomass and N transport related characteristics was less than that for biomass, there were clear relationships, most importantly, lines that maintained biomass at reduced N maintained net N uptake with no change in size of the root relative to the shoot. The root uptake capacity for both NO−3 and NH+4 increased with reduced N. Transcript levels of putative NO−3 and NH+4 transporter genes in the root tissue of a subset of the genotypes revealed that predominately ZmNRT2 transcript levels responded to N treatments. The correlation between the ratio of transcripts of ZmNRT2.2 between the two N levels and a genotype's ability to maintain biomass with reduced N suggests a role for these transporters in enhancing NUpE. The observed variation in the ability to capture N at low N provides scope for both improving NUpE in maize and also to better understand the N uptake system in cereals.
CitationVariation for N Uptake System in Maize: Genotypic Response to N Supply 2015, 6 Frontiers in Plant Science
PublisherFrontiers Media SA
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science