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Genes 2019, 10(4), 290;

Overexpression of Nitrate Transporter OsNRT2.1 Enhances Nitrate-Dependent Root Elongation

State Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement, MOA Key Laboratory of Plant Nutrition and Fertilization in Low-Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
CAAS-IRRI Joint Laboratory for Genomics-Assisted Germplasm Enhancement, Agricultural Genomics Institute in Shenzhen, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Shenzhen (518000), China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 February 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 9 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Insights into the Genetics of Root Development (2019))
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Root morphology is essential for plant survival. NO3 is not only a nutrient, but also a signal substance affecting root growth in plants. However, the mechanism of NO3-mediated root growth in rice remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the effect of OsNRT2.1 on root elongation and nitrate signaling-mediated auxin transport using OsNRT2.1 overexpression lines. We observed that the overexpression of OsNRT2.1 increased the total root length in rice, including the seminal root length, total adventitious root length, and total lateral root length in seminal roots and adventitious roots under 0.5-mM NO3- conditions, but not under 0.5-mM NH4+ conditions. Compared with wild type (WT), the 15NO3 influx rate of OsNRT2.1 transgenic lines increased by 24.3%, and the expressions of auxin transporter genes (OsPIN1a/b/c and OsPIN2) also increased significantly under 0.5-mM NO3 conditions. There were no significant differences in root length, ß-glucuronidase (GUS) activity, and the expressions of OsPIN1a/b/c and OsPIN2 in the pDR5::GUS transgenic line between 0.5-mM NO3 and 0.5-mM NH4+ treatments together with N-1-naphthylphalamic acid (NPA) treatment. When exogenous NPA was added to 0.5-mM NO3 nutrient solution, there were no significant differences in the total root length and expressions of OsPIN1a/b/c and OsPIN2 between transgenic plants and WT, although the 15NO3 influx rate of OsNRT2.1 transgenic lines increased by 25.2%. These results indicated that OsNRT2.1 is involved in the pathway of nitrate-dependent root elongation by regulating auxin transport to roots; i.e., overexpressing OsNRT2.1 promotes an effect on root growth upon NO3 treatment that requires active polar auxin transport.
Keywords: OsNRT2.1; NO3−; auxin transport; root length; rice OsNRT2.1; NO3−; auxin transport; root length; rice
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Naz, M.; Luo, B.; Guo, X.; Li, B.; Chen, J.; Fan, X. Overexpression of Nitrate Transporter OsNRT2.1 Enhances Nitrate-Dependent Root Elongation. Genes 2019, 10, 290.

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