Zinc and nitrogen synergistic act on root-to-shoot translocation and preferential distribution in rice

J Adv Res. 2021 Apr 20;35:187-198. doi: 10.1016/j.jare.2021.04.005. eCollection 2022 Jan.


INTRODUCTION: Multiple studies have shown strong relationships between different nutrients in plants, and the important role of N in Zn acquisition and translocation has been recognized.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to estimate the effect of Zn on N uptake, translocation, and distribution in rice as well as the corresponding molecular mechanisms. We also aimed to evaluate the impact of N on the Zn content in rice grains which is closely related to the Zn nutrition in humans with rice-based diets.

METHODS: We conducted both field trials and hydroponic cultures of two rice cultivars to analyze the growth and yield, the uptake, translocation, and distribution of N and Zn, as well as the expression of N transport and assimilation genes, and the Zn transporter genes under different combined applications of N and Zn.

RESULTS: Zn supply promoted the root-to-shoot translocation (12-70% increasing) and distribution of N into the leaves (19-49% increasing) and brown rice (6-9% increasing) and increased the rice biomass (by 14-35%) and yield (by 13-63%). Zn supply induced the expression of OsNRTs and OsAMTs in both roots and shoots, but repressed the expression of OsNiR2, OsGS1;2, and OsFd-GOGAT in roots, whereas it activated the expression of OsNiR2, OsGS1;1, OsGS2, and OsFd-GOGAT in the shoots. Moreover, the enzyme activities of nitrite reductase, nitrate reductase, and glutamine synthetase increased and the free NO3- concentration decreased, but the soluble protein concentration increased significantly in the shoots after Zn supply. Synergistically, N significantly facilitated the root-to-shoot translocation (1.68-11.66 fold) and distribution of Zn into the leaves (1.68-6.37 fold) and brown rice (7-12% increasing) and upregulated the expression levels of Zn transporter genes in both the roots and shoots.

CONCLUSIONS: We propose a working model of the cross-talk between Zn and N in rice plants, which will aid in the appropriate combined application of Zn and N fertilizers in the field to improve both N utilization in plants and Zn nutrition in humans with rice-based diets.

PMID:35003800 | PMC:PMC8721242 | DOI:10.1016/j.jare.2021.04.005


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