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Photosynth Res. 2005;83(2):239-50.

Signaling mechanisms integrating root and shoot responses to changes in the nitrogen supply.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, Bailrigg, UK.


During their life cycle, plants must be able to adapt to wide variations in the supply of soil nitrogen (N). Changes in N availability, and in the relative concentrations of NO(3) (-)and NH(4) (+), are known to have profound regulatory effects on the N uptake systems in the root, on C and N metabolism throughout the plant, and on root and shoot morphology. Optimising the plant's responses to fluctuations in the N supply requires co-ordination of the pathways of C and N assimilation, as well as establishment of the appropriate allocation of resources between root and shoot growth. Achieving this integration of responses at the whole plant level implies long-distance signaling mechanisms that can communicate information about the current availability of N from root-to-shoot, and information about the C/N status of the shoot in the reverse direction. In this review we will discuss recent advances which have contributed to our understanding of these long-range signaling pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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