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Nat Genet. 2015 Jul;47(7):834-8. doi: 10.1038/ng.3337. Epub 2015 Jun 8.

Variation in NRT1.1B contributes to nitrate-use divergence between rice subspecies.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics, National Center for Plant Gene Research (Beijing), Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
2
1] State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics, National Center for Plant Gene Research (Beijing), Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China. [2] College of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
3
1] State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics, National Center for Plant Gene Research (Beijing), Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China. [2] Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA.
4
College of Life Science, Capital Normal University, Beijing, China.
5
Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.
6
Crop Breeding and Cultivation Research Institute, Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Shanghai, China.
7
China National Hybrid Rice Research and Development Center, Changsha, China.
8
School of Agriculture, Henan University of Science and Technology, Luoyang, China.

Abstract

Asian cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L.) consists of two main subspecies, indica and japonica. Indica has higher nitrate-absorption activity than japonica, but the molecular mechanisms underlying that activity remain elusive. Here we show that variation in a nitrate-transporter gene, NRT1.1B (OsNPF6.5), may contribute to this divergence in nitrate use. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that NRT1.1B diverges between indica and japonica. NRT1.1B-indica variation was associated with enhanced nitrate uptake and root-to-shoot transport and upregulated expression of nitrate-responsive genes. The selection signature of NRT1.1B-indica suggests that nitrate-use divergence occurred during rice domestication. Notably, field tests with near-isogenic and transgenic lines confirmed that the japonica variety carrying the NRT1.1B-indica allele had significantly improved grain yield and nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE) compared to the variety without that allele. Our results show that variation in NRT1.1B largely explains nitrate-use divergence between indica and japonica and that NRT1.1B-indica can potentially improve the NUE of japonica.

PMID:
26053497
DOI:
10.1038/ng.3337
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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