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Plant Cell Physiol. 2014 Feb;55(2):306-19. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pct192. Epub 2013 Dec 15.

Characterization of metabolic states of Arabidopsis thaliana under diverse carbon and nitrogen nutrient conditions via targeted metabolomic analysis.

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  • 1Biotechnology Research Center, The University of Tokyo, Yayoi 1-1-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-8657 Japan.


Plant growth and metabolism are regulated in response to various environmental factors. To investigate modulations in plant metabolism by the combined action of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration and other nutritional factors, we performed targeted metabolomic analysis using Arabidopsis thaliana plants grown under 24 different conditions where the CO2 concentration, amounts and species of nitrogen source, and light intensity were modified. Our results indicate that both the biosynthesis of diverse metabolites and growth are promoted in proportion to the CO2 concentration at a wide range of CO2 levels, from ambient concentrations to an extremely high concentration (3,600 p.p.m.) of CO2. This suggests that A. thaliana has the potential to utilize effectively very high concentrations of CO2. On the other hand, ammonium (but not nitrate) supplied as an additional nitrogen source induced drastic alterations in metabolite composition, including increases in the contents of glucose, starch and several amino acids, and reductions in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle-related organic acid content under any CO2 conditions. Hierarchical clustering analysis using the metabolite profiles revealed that ammonium is a prominent factor determining metabolic status, while the CO2 concentration is not. However, ammonium-induced metabolic alterations were differently modified by high concentrations of CO2. Hence, our results imply that increases in CO2 concentration may differently influence plant metabolism depending on the nitrogen nutrient conditions.


Ammonium response; Arabidopsis thaliana; CO2 response; Nitrogen response; Targeted metabolomic analysis

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