Journal Article

Enzymatic and Metabolic Diagnostic of Nitrogen Deficiency in <i>Arabidopsis thaliana Wassileskija</i> Accession

Thomas Lemaître, Laure Gaufichon, Stéphanie Boutet-Mercey, Aurélie Christ and Céline Masclaux-Daubresse

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 49, issue 7, pages 1056-1065
Published in print July 2008 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online May 2008 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
Enzymatic and Metabolic Diagnostic of Nitrogen Deficiency in Arabidopsis thaliana Wassileskija Accession

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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Adaptation to steady-state low-nutrient availability was investigated by comparing the Wassileskija (WS) accession of Arabidopsis thaliana grown on 2 or 10 mM nitrate. Low nitrogen conditions led to a limited rosette biomass and seed yield. The latter was mainly due to reduced seed number, while seed weight was less affected. However, harvest index was lower in high nitrate compared with limited nitrate conditions. Under nitrogen-limiting conditions, nitrate reductase activity was decreased while glutamine synthetase activity was increased due to a higher accumulation of the cytosolic enzyme. The level of nitrogen remobilization to the seeds was higher under low nitrogen, and the vegetative parts of the plants remaining after seed production stored very low residual nitrogen. Through promoting nitrogen remobilization and recycling pathways, nitrogen limitation modified plant and seed compositions. Rosette leaves contained more sugars and less free amino acids when grown under nitrogen-limiting conditions. Compared with high nitrogen, the levels of proline, asparagine and glutamine were decreased. The seed amino acid composition reflected that of the rosette leaves, thus suggesting that phloem loading for seed filling was poorly selective. The major finding of this report was that together with decreasing biomass and yield, nitrogen limitation triggers large modifications in vegetative products and seed quality.

Keywords: Asparagine; Glutamine synthetase; Nitrate reductase; Nitrogen limitation; Nitrogen remobilization; Seed composition

Journal Article.  6634 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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