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Nitrate and Ammonium Contribute to the Distinct Nitrogen Metabolism of Populus simonii during Moderate Salt Stress.

By Sen Meng, Li Su, Yiming Li, Yinjuan Wang, Chunxia Zhang and Zhong Zhao


Soil salinity is a major abiotic stressor affecting plant growth. Salinity affects nitrification and ammonification in the soil, however, limited information is available on the influence of different N sources on N metabolism during salt stress. To understand the N metabolism changes in response to different N sources during moderate salt stress, we investigated N uptake, assimilation and the transcript abundance of associated genes in Populus simonii seedlings treated with moderate salt stress (75mM NaCl) under hydroponic culture conditions with nitrate (NO3-) or ammonium (NH4+). Salt stress negatively affected plant growth in both NH4+-fed and NO3--fed plants. Both NH4+ uptake and the total N concentration were significantly increased in the roots of the NH4+-fed plants during salt stress. However, the NO3- uptake and nitrate reductase (NR) and nitrite reductase (NiR) activity primarily depended on the NO3- supply and was not influenced by salt stress. Salt stress decreased glutamine synthetase (GS) and glutamate synthase (GOGAT) activity in the roots and leaves. Most genes associated with NO3-uptake, reduction and N metabolism were down-regulated or remained unchanged; while two NH4+ transporter genes closely associated with NH4+ uptake (AMT1;2 and AMT1;6) were up-regulated in response to salt stress in the NH4+-fed plants. The accumulation of different amino acid compounds was observed in the NH4+- and NO3-- fed plants during salt treatment. The results suggested that N metabolism in P. simonii plants exposed to salt enhanced salt resistance in the plants that were fed with NO3- instead of NH4+ as the sole N source

Topics: Medicine, R, Science, Q
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
DOI identifier: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150354
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