Root architecture traits variation and nitrate-influx responses in diverse wheat genotypes under different external nitrogen concentrations.

Affiliation

ICAR- National Institute for Plant Biotechnology, Pusa Campus, New Delhi, 11012, India. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

In order to identify the genetic variations in root system architecture traits and their probable association with high- and low-affinity nitrate transport system, we performed several experiments on a genetically diverse set of wheat genotypes grown under two external nitrogen levels (optimum and limited nitrate conditions) at two growth points of the seedling stage. Further, we also examined the nitrate uptake and its transport under different combinations of nitrate availability in the external media using 15N-labelled N-source (15NO3-), and gene expression pattern of different high- and low-affinity nitrate transporters. We observed that nitrate starvation invariably increases the total root size in all genotypes. However, the variation of component traits of total root size under nitrate starvation is genotype-specific at both stages. Further, we also observed genotypic variation in both nitrate uptake and translocation depending on the growth stage, external nitrate concentration and growing conditions. The expression of the TaNRT2.1 gene was invariably up-regulated under low external nitrate concentration; however, it gets reduced after a longer period (21 days) of starvation than the early stage (14 days). Among the four NRT1.1 orthologs, TaNPF6.3 and TaNPF6.4 consistently showed higher expression than TaNPF6.1 and TaNPF6.2 at higher nitrate concentration at both the growth stages. TaNPF6.3 and TaNPF6.4 apparently showed a feature of typical low-affinity nitrate transporter gene at higher external nitrate concentration at 14 and 21 days growth stages, respectively. The present study reveals the complex root system of wheat that has genotype-specific N-foraging along with highly coordinated high- and low-affinity nitrate transport systems for nitrate uptake and transport.

Keywords

Nitrate transporters,Nitrate-flux,Nitrate-uptake,Nitrogen use efficiency (NUE),Root system architecture,Wheat,

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