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Plants uptake nitrogen (N) from the soil mainly in the form of nitrate. However, nitrate is often distributed heterogeneously in natural soil. Plants, therefore, have a systemic long-distance signalling mechanism by which N starvation on one side of the root leads to a compensatory N uptake on the other N-rich side(1,2). This systemic N acquisition response is triggered by a root-to-shoot mobile peptide hormone, C-TERMINALLY ENCODED PEPTIDE (CEP), originating from the N-starved roots(3,4), but the molecular nature of the descending shoot-to-root signal remains elusive. Here, we show that phloem-specific polypeptides that are induced in leaves upon perception of root-derived CEP act as descending long-distance mobile signals translocated to each root. These shoot-derived polypeptides, which we named CEP DOWNSTREAM 1 (CEPD1) and CEPD2, upregulate the expression of the nitrate transporter gene NRT2.1 in roots specifically when nitrate is present in the rhizosphere. Arabidopsis plants deficient in this pathway show impaired systemic N acquisition response accompanied with N-deficiency symptoms. These fundamental mechanistic insights should provide a conceptual framework for understanding systemic nutrient acquisition responses in plants.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Nature plants
As sessile organisms, terrestrial plants have evolved sophisticated mechanisms to coordinate the growth and development of two distinct systems, the shoot and the root, in response to environmental fl...
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The formation of a nitrogen-fixing cell mass on PLANT ROOTS following symbiotic infection by nitrogen-fixing bacteria such as RHIZOBIUM or FRANKIA.
A hemoglobin-like oxygen-binding hemeprotein present in the nitrogen-fixing root nodules of leguminous plants. The red pigment has a molecular weight approximately 1/4 that of hemoglobin and has been suggested to act as an oxido-reduction catalyst in symbiotic nitrogen fixation.
Knobbed structures formed from and attached to plant roots, especially of LEGUMES, which result from symbiotic infection by nitrogen fixing bacteria such as RHIZOBIUM or FRANKIA. Root nodules are structures related to MYCORRHIZAE formed by symbiotic associations with fungi.
A positive regulatory effect on physiological processes at the molecular, cellular, or systemic level. At the molecular level, the major regulatory sites include membrane receptors, genes (GENE EXPRESSION REGULATION), mRNAs (RNA, MESSENGER), and proteins.
A negative regulatory effect on physiological processes at the molecular, cellular, or systemic level. At the molecular level, the major regulatory sites include membrane receptors, genes (GENE EXPRESSION REGULATION), mRNAs (RNA, MESSENGER), and proteins.
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