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Trends Plant Sci. 2012 Aug;17(8):458-67. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2012.04.006. Epub 2012 May 31.

Uptake, allocation and signaling of nitrate.

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Institute of Molecular Biology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.

Erratum in

  • Trends Plant Sci. 2012 Oct;17(10):624.


Plants need to acquire nitrogen (N) efficiently from the soil for growth. Nitrate is one of the major N sources for higher plants. Therefore, nitrate uptake and allocation are key factors in efficient N utilization. Membrane-bound transporters are required for nitrate uptake from the soil and for the inter- and intracellular movement of nitrate inside the plants. Four gene families, nitrate transporter 1/peptide transporter (NRT1/PTR), NRT2, chloride channel (CLC), and slow anion channel-associated 1 homolog 3 (SLAC1/SLAH), are involved in nitrate uptake, allocation, and storage in higher plants. Recent studies of these transporters or channels have provided new insights into the molecular mechanisms of nitrate uptake and allocation. Interestingly, several of these transporters also play versatile roles in nitrate sensing, plant development, pathogen defense, and/or stress response.

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