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Plant J. 2014 Oct;80(2):230-41. doi: 10.1111/tpj.12626. Epub 2014 Aug 25.

The Arabidopsis nitrate transporter NRT2.5 plays a role in nitrate acquisition and remobilization in nitrogen-starved plants.

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Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), UMR1318, Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin, Saclay Plant Sciences, RD10, Versailles, F-78000, France; AgroParisTech, Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin, RD10, Versailles, F-78000, France.


Nitrogen is a key mineral nutrient playing a crucial role in plant growth and development. Understanding the mechanisms of nitrate uptake from the soil and distribution through the plant in response to nitrogen starvation is an important step on the way to improve nitrogen uptake and utilization efficiency for better growth and productivity of plants, and to prevent negative effects of nitrogen fertilizers on the environment and human health. In this study, we show that Arabidopsis NITRATE TRANSPORTER 2.5 (NRT2.5) is a plasma membrane-localized high-affinity nitrate transporter playing an essential role in adult plants under severe nitrogen starvation. NRT2.5 expression is induced under nitrogen starvation and NRT2.5 becomes the most abundant transcript amongst the seven NRT2 family members in shoots and roots of adult plants after long-term starvation. GUS reporter analyses showed that NRT2.5 is expressed in the epidermis and the cortex of roots at the root hair zone and in minor veins of mature leaves. Reduction of NRT2.5 expression resulted in a decrease in high-affinity nitrate uptake without impacting low-affinity uptake. In the background of the high-affinity nitrate transporter mutant nrt2.4, an nrt2.5 mutation reduced nitrate levels in the phloem of N-starved plants further than in the single nrt2.4 mutants. Growth analyses of multiple mutants between NRT2.1, NRT2.2, NRT2.4, and NRT2.5 revealed that NRT2.5 is required to support growth of nitrogen-starved adult plants by ensuring the efficient uptake of nitrate collectively with NRT2.1, NRT2.2 and NRT2.4 and by taking part in nitrate loading into the phloem during nitrate remobilization.


Arabidopsis thaliana; NRT2; nitrate; nitrogen starvation; transport

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