Special Issue "Nitrogen Transport and Assimilation in Plants"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2016).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Anne Krapp E-Mail
Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin (IJPB), UMR1318 INRA-Agro-ParisTech, F-78026 Versailles Cedex, France
Phone: +33 1 3083 3077
Fax: +33 1 3083 3096
Guest Editor
Dr. Bertrand Hirel Website E-Mail
Adaptation des Plantes à leur Environnement, Unité de Recherche 511, Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Centre de Versailles-Grignon, Route de Saint-Cyr, F-78026 Versailles Cedex, France

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nitrogen (N) is an essential element found in most macromolecules and many secondary compounds, including proteins, nucleic acids, cell wall components, hormones and vitamins. Plants and fungi are the only eukaryotic organisms able to assimilate inorganic N. Aside from legumes, which can fix atmospheric N, plants use mainly nitrate in aerobic soils and ammonium in flooded wetland or acidic soils. Uptake of amino acids and peptides is of interest under specific conditions, but seems to be minor in agricultural systems. The utilization of these compounds by plants involves uptake, assimilation, translocation, recycling and remobilization. These steps need to be coordinately regulated and tightly integrated with other metabolic processes during development and in response to the environment.

This Special Issue intends to bring together the current research findings on the various steps that contribute to an efficient use of nitrogen in the plant.

Submissions could consist of research in topics including, but not limited to:

  1. Transport (uptake and translocation) of N containing molecules (NH4, NO3, peptides, urea, amino acids)
  2. Metabolic processes involved in N assimilation
  3. Metabolic processes involved in N mobilization
  4. Regulation of N assimilation
  5. Integration of N metabolism with the environment

Dr.Anne Krapp
Dr. Bertrand Hirel
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agronomy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • plants and fungi
  • nitrogen transport
  • nitrogen assimilation
  • nitrogen translocation, recycling and remobilization
  • nitrogen use efficiency

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Special Issue: Nitrogen Transport and Assimilation in Plants
Agronomy 2016, 6(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy6030041 - 29 Aug 2016
Cited by 1
Abstract
The doubling of the world’s agricultural production for the past four decades has been associated with a seven-fold increase in nitrogen (N) fertilization [1] which has caused major detrimental impacts onthediversityandfunctioningofthenon-agriculturalbacterial,animalandplantecosystems,notably through the process of freshwater and marine ecosystem eutrophication [2].[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen Transport and Assimilation in Plants)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
NRT2.4 and NRT2.5 Are Two Half-Size Transporters from the Chlamydomonas NRT2 Family
Agronomy 2016, 6(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy6010020 - 19 Mar 2016
Cited by 3
Abstract
The NRT2 transporters mediate High Affinity Nitrate/NitriteTransport (HAN/NiT), which are essential for nitrogen acquisition from these inorganic forms. The NRT2 proteins are encoded by a multigene family in plants, and contain 12 transmembrane-spanning domains. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii has six NRT2, two of which [...] Read more.
The NRT2 transporters mediate High Affinity Nitrate/NitriteTransport (HAN/NiT), which are essential for nitrogen acquisition from these inorganic forms. The NRT2 proteins are encoded by a multigene family in plants, and contain 12 transmembrane-spanning domains. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii has six NRT2, two of which (NRT2.5 and NRT2.4) are located in Chromosome III, in tandem head to tail. cDNAs for these genes were isolated and their sequence revealed that they correspond to half-size NRT2 transporters each containing six transmembrane domains. NRT2.5 has long N- and C- termini sequences without known homology. NRT2.4 also contains long termini sequences but smaller than NRT2.5. Expression of both studied genes occurred at a very low level, slightly in darkness, and was not modified by the N or C source. Silencing of NRT2.4 by specific artificial miRNA resulted in the inhibition of nitrite transport in the absence of other HANNiT (NRT2.1/NAR2) in the cell genetic background. Nitrite transport activity in the Hansenula polymorpha Δynt::URA3 Leu2 mutant was restored by expressing CrNRT2.4. These results indicate that half-size NRT2 transporters are present in photosynthetic organisms and that NRT2.4 is a HANiT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen Transport and Assimilation in Plants)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Identification of Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) Autophagy Genes and Their Expression Levels during Leaf Senescence, Chronic Nitrogen Limitation and in Response to Dark Exposure
Agronomy 2016, 6(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy6010015 - 22 Feb 2016
Cited by 10
Abstract
Barley is a cereal of primary importance for forage and human nutrition, and is a useful model for wheat. Autophagy genes first described in yeast have been subsequently isolated in mammals and Arabidopsis thaliana. In Arabidopsis and maize it was recently shown [...] Read more.
Barley is a cereal of primary importance for forage and human nutrition, and is a useful model for wheat. Autophagy genes first described in yeast have been subsequently isolated in mammals and Arabidopsis thaliana. In Arabidopsis and maize it was recently shown that autophagy machinery participates in nitrogen remobilization for grain filling. In rice, autophagy is also important for nitrogen recycling at the vegetative stage. In this study, HvATGs, HvNBR1 and HvATI1 sequences were identified from bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC), complementary DNA (cDNA) and expressed sequence tag (EST) libraries. The gene models were subsequently determined from alignments between genome and transcript sequences. Essential amino acids were identified from the protein sequences in order to estimate their functionality. A total of twenty-four barley HvATG genes, one HvNBR1 gene and one HvATI1 gene were identified. Except for HvATG5, all the genomic sequences found completely matched their cDNA sequences. The HvATG5 gene sequence presents a gap that cannot be sequenced due to its high GC content. The HvATG5 coding DNA sequence (CDS), when over-expressed in the Arabidopsis atg5 mutant, complemented the plant phenotype. The HvATG transcript levels were increased globally by leaf senescence, nitrogen starvation and dark-treatment. The induction of HvATG5 during senescence was mainly observed in the flag leaves, while it remained surprisingly stable in the seedling leaves, irrespective of the leaf age during stress treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen Transport and Assimilation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of the Disruption of ASN3-Encoding Asparagine Synthetase on Arabidopsis Development
Agronomy 2016, 6(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy6010012 - 14 Feb 2016
Cited by 2
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the role of ASN3-encoded asparagine synthetase (AS, EC 6.3.5.4) during vegetative growth, seed development and germination of Arabidopsis thaliana. Phenotypic analysis of knockout (asn3-1) and knockdown (asn3-2) T-DNA insertion mutants [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the role of ASN3-encoded asparagine synthetase (AS, EC 6.3.5.4) during vegetative growth, seed development and germination of Arabidopsis thaliana. Phenotypic analysis of knockout (asn3-1) and knockdown (asn3-2) T-DNA insertion mutants for the ASN3 gene (At5g10240) demonstrated wild-type contents of asparagine synthetase protein, chlorophyll and ammonium in green leaves at 35 days after sowing. In situ hybridization localized ASN3 mRNA to phloem companion cells of vasculature. Young siliques of the asn3-1 knockout line showed a decrease in asparagine but an increase in glutamate. The seeds of asn3-1 and asn3-2 displayed a wild-type nitrogen status expressed as total nitrogen content, indicating that the repression of ASN3 expression had only a limited effect on mature seeds. An analysis of amino acid labeling of seeds imbibed with (15N) ammonium for 24 h revealed that asn3-1 seeds contained 20% less total asparagine while 15N-labeled asparagine ((2-15N)asparagine, (4-15N)asparagine and (2,4-15N)asparagine) increased by 12% compared to wild-type seeds. The data indicate a fine regulation of asparagine synthesis and hydrolysis in Arabidopsis seeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen Transport and Assimilation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Contribution of Nitrogen Uptake and Retranslocation during Reproductive Growth to the Nitrogen Efficiency of Winter Oilseed-Rape Cultivars (Brassica napus L.) Differing in Leaf Senescence
Agronomy 2016, 6(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy6010001 - 04 Jan 2016
Cited by 4
Abstract
Genotypic variation in N efficiency defined as high grain yield under limited nitrogen (N) supply of winter oilseed-rape line-cultivars has been predominantly attributed to N uptake efficiency (NUPT) through maintained N uptake during reproductive growth related to functional stay-green. For investigating the role [...] Read more.
Genotypic variation in N efficiency defined as high grain yield under limited nitrogen (N) supply of winter oilseed-rape line-cultivars has been predominantly attributed to N uptake efficiency (NUPT) through maintained N uptake during reproductive growth related to functional stay-green. For investigating the role of stay-green, N retranslocation and N uptake during the reproductive phase for grain yield formation, two line cultivars differing in N starvation-induced leaf senescence were grown in a field experiment without mineral N (N0) and with 160 kg N·ha−1 (N160). Through frequent harvests from full flowering until maturity N uptake, N utilization and apparent N remobilization from vegetative plant parts to the pods could be calculated. NUPT proved being more important than N utilization efficiency (NUE) for grain yield formation under N-limiting (N0) conditions. For cultivar differences in N efficiency, particularly N uptake during flowering (NUPT) and biomass allocation efficiency (HI) to the grains, were decisive. Both crop traits were related to delayed senescence of the older leaves. Remobilization of N particularly from stems and leaves was more important for pod N accumulation than N uptake after full flowering. Pod walls (high N concentrations) and stems (high biomass) mainly contributed to the crop-residue N at maturity. Decreasing the crop-inherent high N budget surplus of winter oilseed-rape requires increasing the low N remobilization efficiency particularly of pod-wall N to the grains. Addressing this conclusion, multi-year and -location field experiments with an extended range of cultivars including hybrids are desirable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen Transport and Assimilation in Plants)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Nitrogen Economy and Nitrogen Environmental Interactions in Conifers
Agronomy 2016, 6(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy6020026 - 20 Apr 2016
Cited by 5
Abstract
Efficient acquisition, assimilation and economy of nitrogen are of special importance in trees that must cope with seasonal periods of growth and dormancy over many years. The ability to accumulate nitrogen reserves and to recycle N determine to a great extent the growth [...] Read more.
Efficient acquisition, assimilation and economy of nitrogen are of special importance in trees that must cope with seasonal periods of growth and dormancy over many years. The ability to accumulate nitrogen reserves and to recycle N determine to a great extent the growth and production of forest biomass. The metabolic relevance of two key amino acids, arginine and phenylalanine, as well as other processes potentially involved in the nitrogen economy of conifers are discussed in the current review. During their long life cycles, conifers not only cope with cyclical annual and long-term changes in the environment but also interact with other organisms such as herbivores and symbionts. The interactions of biotic and abiotic factors with conifer nitrogen metabolism will also be outlined in this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen Transport and Assimilation in Plants)
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Open AccessReview
Role of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in the Nitrogen Uptake of Plants: Current Knowledge and Research Gaps
Agronomy 2015, 5(4), 587-612; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy5040587 - 16 Dec 2015
Cited by 62
Abstract
Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi play an essential role for the nutrient uptake of the majority of land plants, including many important crop species. The extraradical mycelium of the fungus takes up nutrients from the soil, transfers these nutrients to the intraradical mycelium within [...] Read more.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi play an essential role for the nutrient uptake of the majority of land plants, including many important crop species. The extraradical mycelium of the fungus takes up nutrients from the soil, transfers these nutrients to the intraradical mycelium within the host root, and exchanges the nutrients against carbon from the host across a specialized plant-fungal interface. The contribution of the AM symbiosis to the phosphate nutrition has long been known, but whether AM fungi contribute similarly to the nitrogen nutrition of their host is still controversially discussed. However, there is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates that AM fungi can actively transfer nitrogen to their host, and that the host plant with its carbon supply stimulates this transport, and that the periarbuscular membrane of the host is able to facilitate the active uptake of nitrogen from the mycorrhizal interface. In this review, our current knowledge about nitrogen transport through the fungal hyphae and across the mycorrhizal interface is summarized, and we discuss the regulation of these pathways and major research gaps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen Transport and Assimilation in Plants)
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