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Photosynth Res. 2005;83(2):251-63.

Analysis of C and N metabolisms and of C/N interactions using quantitative genetics.

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Unité de Nutrition Azotée des Plantes, INRA Versailles, route de St. Cyr, 78000 Versailles, France.


Interaction between carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) metabolisms in plants is important to ensure efficient assimilation of these two major nutrients and thus to allow maximum growth and yield. Both pathways are well studied, but the regulatory elements and the processes are still mostly unknown. Quantitative genetics explore the natural variation of traits and offer an alternative approach to discover new genes and to unravel new interactions that would not have been detected by classical functional genomics. C and N metabolisms have been the target for quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis especially in crop plants due to their close impact on yield, for example in potato or cereals, respectively. C/N interactions have not been studied extensively using these approaches, nevertheless, several interesting co-localisations have been evidenced. Several candidate genes have been located near loci involved in C and N dependent traits, but most of these loci need further characterisation. Arabidopsis thaliana was only recently used as a model species, but might now accelerate the progress by facilitating QTL cloning.

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