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Plant Physiol. 2019 Jan;179(1):329-347. doi: 10.1104/pp.18.00716. Epub 2018 Nov 19.

Adaption of Roots to Nitrogen Deficiency Revealed by 3D Quantification and Proteomic Analysis.

Author information

1
Oil Crops Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences/Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetics Improvement of Oil Crops of the Ministry of Agriculture, Wuhan 430062, China.
2
Tropotech LLC, St. Louis, Missouri 63141.
3
Root Biology Center, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China.
4
Institute of Biotechnology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853-2703.
5
Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health, United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853.
6
State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Subtropical Agro-bioresources, Root Biology Center, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China.
7
Global Institute for Food Security, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon S7N 4J8, Canada.
8
Oil Crops Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences/Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetics Improvement of Oil Crops of the Ministry of Agriculture, Wuhan 430062, China liaox@oilcrops.cn.
9
Root Biology Center, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China liaox@oilcrops.cn.

Abstract

Rapeseed (Brassica napus) is an important oil crop worldwide. However, severe inhibition of rapeseed production often occurs in the field due to nitrogen (N) deficiency. The root system is the main organ to acquire N for plant growth, but little is known about the mechanisms underlying rapeseed root adaptions to N deficiency. Here, dynamic changes in root architectural traits of N-deficient rapeseed plants were evaluated by 3D in situ quantification. Root proteome responses to N deficiency were analyzed by the tandem mass tag-based proteomics method, and related proteins were characterized further. Under N deficiency, rapeseed roots become longer, with denser cells in the meristematic zone and larger cells in the elongation zone of root tips, and also become softer with reduced solidity. A total of 171 and 755 differentially expressed proteins were identified in short- and long-term N-deficient roots, respectively. The abundance of proteins involved in cell wall organization or biogenesis was highly enhanced, but most identified peroxidases were reduced in the N-deficient roots. Notably, peroxidase activities also were decreased, which might promote root elongation while lowering the solidity of N-deficient roots. These results were consistent with the cell wall components measured in the N-deficient roots. Further functional analysis using transgenic Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plants demonstrated that the two root-related differentially expressed proteins contribute to the enhanced root growth under N deficiency conditions. These results provide insights into the global changes of rapeseed root responses to N deficiency and may facilitate the development of rapeseed cultivars with high N use efficiency through root-based genetic improvements.

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