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Variations in Nitrogen Metabolism are Closely Linked with Nitrogen Uptake and Utilization Efficiency in Cotton Genotypes under Various Nitrogen Supplies

State Key Laboratory of Cotton Biology, Institute of Cotton Research of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Anyang 455000, China
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Plants 2020, 9(2), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9020250 (registering DOI)
Received: 21 January 2020 / Revised: 11 February 2020 / Accepted: 12 February 2020 / Published: 15 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Nitrogen Assimilation and Metabolism)
Cotton production is highly sensitive to nitrogen (N) fertilization, whose excessive use is responsible for human and environmental problems. Lowering N supply together with the selection of N-efficient genotypes, more able to uptake, utilize, and remobilize the available N, could be a challenge to maintain high cotton production sustainably. The current study aimed to explore the intraspecific variation among four cotton genotypes in response to various N supplies, in order to identify the most distinct N-efficient genotypes and their nitrogen use efficiency (NUE)-related traits in hydroponic culture. On the basis of shoot dry matter, CCRI-69 and XLZ-30 were identified as N-efficient and N-inefficient genotypes, respectively, and these results were confirmed by their contrasting N metabolism, uptake (NUpE), and utilization efficiency (NUtE). Overall, our results indicated the key role of shoot glutamine synthetase (GS) and root total soluble protein in NUtE. Conversely, tissue N concentration and N-metabolizing enzymes were considered as the key traits in conferring high NUpE. The remobilization of N from the shoot to roots by high shoot GS activity may be a strategy to enhance root total soluble protein, which improves root growth for N uptake and NUE. In future, multi-omics studies will be employed to focus on the key genes and pathways involved in N metabolism and their role in improving NUE. View Full-Text
Keywords: cotton; contrasting genotypes; key-traits; nitrogen use efficiency; nitrogen metabolism cotton; contrasting genotypes; key-traits; nitrogen use efficiency; nitrogen metabolism
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Iqbal, A.; Dong, Q.; Wang, X.; Gui, H.; Zhang, H.; Zhang, X.; Song, M. Variations in Nitrogen Metabolism are Closely Linked with Nitrogen Uptake and Utilization Efficiency in Cotton Genotypes under Various Nitrogen Supplies. Plants 2020, 9, 250.

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