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Open AccessArticle

Nitrate and Ammonium Affect the Overall Maize Response to Nitrogen Availability by Triggering Specific and Common Transcriptional Signatures in Roots

1
Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural resources, Animals and Environment, University of Padova, Agripolis—V.le dell’Università, 16, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy
2
Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padova—Via Marzolo 5, 35121 Padova, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(2), 686; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020686
Received: 16 December 2019 / Revised: 13 January 2020 / Accepted: 16 January 2020 / Published: 20 January 2020
Nitrogen (N) is an essential macronutrient for crops. Plants have developed several responses to N fluctuations, thus optimizing the root architecture in response to N availability. Nitrate and ammonium are the main inorganic N forms taken up by plants, and act as both nutrients and signals, affecting gene expression and plant development. In this study, RNA-sequencing was applied to gain comprehensive information on the pathways underlying the response of maize root, pre-treated in an N-deprived solution, to the provision of nitrate or ammonium. The analysis of the transcriptome shows that nitrate and ammonium regulate overlapping and distinct pathways, thus leading to different responses. Ammonium activates the response to stress, while nitrate acts as a negative regulator of transmembrane transport. Both the N-source repress genes related to the cytoskeleton and reactive oxygen species detoxification. Moreover, the presence of ammonium induces the accumulation of anthocyanins, while also reducing biomass and chlorophyll and flavonoids accumulation. Furthermore, the later physiological effects of these nutrients were evaluated through the assessment of shoot and root growth, leaf pigment content and the amino acid concentrations in root and shoot, confirming the existence of common and distinct features in response to the two nitrogen forms. View Full-Text
Keywords: ammonium; amino acids; gene expression; maize; nitrate; plant development; RNA-Seq; root ammonium; amino acids; gene expression; maize; nitrate; plant development; RNA-Seq; root
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ravazzolo, L.; Trevisan, S.; Forestan, C.; Varotto, S.; Sut, S.; Dall’Acqua, S.; Malagoli, M.; Quaggiotti, S. Nitrate and Ammonium Affect the Overall Maize Response to Nitrogen Availability by Triggering Specific and Common Transcriptional Signatures in Roots. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 686. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020686

AMA Style

Ravazzolo L, Trevisan S, Forestan C, Varotto S, Sut S, Dall’Acqua S, Malagoli M, Quaggiotti S. Nitrate and Ammonium Affect the Overall Maize Response to Nitrogen Availability by Triggering Specific and Common Transcriptional Signatures in Roots. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020; 21(2):686. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020686

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ravazzolo, Laura; Trevisan, Sara; Forestan, Cristian; Varotto, Serena; Sut, Stefania; Dall’Acqua, Stefano; Malagoli, Mario; Quaggiotti, Silvia. 2020. "Nitrate and Ammonium Affect the Overall Maize Response to Nitrogen Availability by Triggering Specific and Common Transcriptional Signatures in Roots" Int. J. Mol. Sci. 21, no. 2: 686. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020686

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