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Plant Cell. 2018 Mar;30(3):638-651. doi: 10.1105/tpc.17.00809. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

Expression of the Nitrate Transporter Gene OsNRT1.1A/OsNPF6.3 Confers High Yield and Early Maturation in Rice.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics and National Center for Plant Gene Research (Beijing), Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.
2
China National Hybrid Rice Research and Development Center, Changsha 410125, China.
3
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China.
4
College of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.
5
Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824.
6
School of Agriculture, Henan University of Science and Technology, Luoyang 471003, China.
7
College of Life Science, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100037, China.
8
Key Laboratory of Plant Resources, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China.
9
State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics and National Center for Plant Gene Research (Beijing), Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China ccchu@genetics.ac.cn.

Abstract

Nitrogen (N) is a major driving force for crop yield improvement, but application of high levels of N delays flowering, prolonging maturation and thus increasing the risk of yield losses. Therefore, traits that enable utilization of high levels of N without delaying maturation will be highly desirable for crop breeding. Here, we show that OsNRT1.1A (OsNPF6.3), a member of the rice (Oryza sativa) nitrate transporter 1/peptide transporter family, is involved in regulating N utilization and flowering, providing a target to produce high yield and early maturation simultaneously. OsNRT.1A has functionally diverged from previously reported NRT1.1 genes in plants and functions in upregulating the expression of N utilization-related genes not only for nitrate but also for ammonium, as well as flowering-related genes. Relative to the wild type, osnrt1.1a mutants exhibited reduced N utilization and late flowering. By contrast, overexpression of OsNRT1.1A in rice greatly improved N utilization and grain yield, and maturation time was also significantly shortened. These effects were further confirmed in different rice backgrounds and also in Arabidopsis thaliana Our study paves a path for the use of a single gene to dramatically increase yield and shorten maturation time for crops, outcomes that promise to substantially increase world food security.

PMID:
29475937
PMCID:
PMC5894839
DOI:
10.1105/tpc.17.00809
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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