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Review

Impact of Nitrogen Nutrition on Cannabis sativa: An Update on the Current Knowledge and Future Prospects

1
Department of Biology, Complesso Universitario di Monte Sant’Angelo, University of Naples “Federico II”, Via Cinthia, I-80126 Napoli, Italy
2
Department of Life Sciences, University of Siena, via P.A. Mattioli 4, I-53100 Siena, Italy
3
Trees and Timber Institute-National Research Council of Italy (CNR-IVALSA), via Aurelia 49, 58022 Follonica (GR), Italy
4
Environmental Research and Innovation Department, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, 5, rue Bommel, Z.A.E. Robert Steichen, L-4940 Hautcharage, Luxembourg
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contribute equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(22), 5803; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20225803
Received: 15 October 2019 / Revised: 4 November 2019 / Accepted: 15 November 2019 / Published: 18 November 2019
Nitrogen (N) availability represents one of the most critical factors affecting cultivated crops. N is indeed a crucial macronutrient influencing major aspects, from plant development to productivity and final yield of lignocellulosic biomass, as well as content of bioactive molecules. N metabolism is fundamental as it is at the crossroad between primary and secondary metabolic pathways: Besides affecting the synthesis of fundamental macromolecules, such as nucleic acids and proteins, N is needed for other types of molecules intervening in the response to exogenous stresses, e.g. alkaloids and glucosinolates. By partaking in the synthesis of phenylalanine, N also directly impacts a central plant metabolic ‘hub’—the phenylpropanoid pathway—from which important classes of molecules are formed, notably monolignols, flavonoids and other types of polyphenols. In this review, an updated analysis is provided on the impact that N has on the multipurpose crop hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) due to its renewed interest as a multipurpose crop able to satisfy the needs of a bioeconomy. The hemp stalk provides both woody and cellulosic fibers used in construction and for biocomposites; different organs (leaves/flowers/roots) are sources of added-value secondary metabolites, namely cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and lignanamides. We survey the available literature data on the impact of N in hemp and highlight the importance of studying those genes responding to both N nutrition and abiotic stresses. Available hemp transcriptomic datasets obtained on plants subjected to salt and drought are here analyzed using Gene Ontology (GO) categories related to N metabolism. The ultimate goal is to shed light on interesting candidate genes that can be further studied in hemp varieties growing under different N feeding conditions and showing high biomass yield and secondary metabolite production, even under salinity and drought. View Full-Text
Keywords: Cannabis sativa; drought; salinity; nitrogen; bast fibers; secondary metabolism; next-generation sequencing Cannabis sativa; drought; salinity; nitrogen; bast fibers; secondary metabolism; next-generation sequencing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Landi, S.; Berni, R.; Capasso, G.; Hausman, J.-F.; Guerriero, G.; Esposito, S. Impact of Nitrogen Nutrition on Cannabis sativa: An Update on the Current Knowledge and Future Prospects. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 5803. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20225803

AMA Style

Landi S, Berni R, Capasso G, Hausman J-F, Guerriero G, Esposito S. Impact of Nitrogen Nutrition on Cannabis sativa: An Update on the Current Knowledge and Future Prospects. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2019; 20(22):5803. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20225803

Chicago/Turabian Style

Landi, Simone, Roberto Berni, Giorgia Capasso, Jean-Francois Hausman, Gea Guerriero, and Sergio Esposito. 2019. "Impact of Nitrogen Nutrition on Cannabis sativa: An Update on the Current Knowledge and Future Prospects" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 20, no. 22: 5803. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20225803

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