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Effects of N input level on the N-associated traits and physiological processes of winter wheat cultivated under water-saving condition

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journal contribution
posted on 02.07.2020, 14:12 by Ruize Lin, Xinyang Bai, Fangafang Li, Shuang Zhang, Le Han, Kai Xiao

Enhancing nitrogen (N) use efficiency (NUE) of cereal crops contribute largely to the sustainable agriculture worldwide. In this study, the effects of N input level on the N-associated and agronomic traits of winter wheat cultivated under deficit irrigation were investigated, using two contrasting NUE cultivars. Under sufficient-N treatment (SN, N240), the two cultivars including the high NUE Shinong 086 and the N deprivation sensitive Jimai 325 both displayed higher N concentrations, biomass, N accumulative amounts, and photosynthetic function at various growth stages and yields at maturity than those obtained under deficient-N treatment (DN, N120). For two cultivars examined, Shinong 086 showed profound improvement on the N-associated traits, photosynthetic function, and the agronomic traits with respect to Jimai 325 under both SN and ND treatments. These results were in consistent with the N supply responses of the tested wheat cultivars. Expression levels of TaNRT1, a nitrate transporter (NRT) family gene mediating N uptake and TaNR5/6, TaNIR6/7, and TaGS3/4, the genes in nitrate reductase (NR), nitrite reductase (NIR), and glutamine synthetase (GS) families, respectively, were significantly upregulated in both N-deprived cultivars, with more transcripts in Shinong 086 plants than the Jimai 325 ones. Transgene analysis on TaNRT1 and TaGS3 validated their functions in positively regulating the plant N uptake and GS activity under DN conditions, respectively. Thus, distinct N uptake- and N assimilation-associated genes contributes to the plant adaptation of wheat plants to low-N stress given the enhanced transcription efficiency.


This work was financially supported by Chinese National Key Research and Development Project on Science and Technology (2017YFD0300902).