Nitrogen topdressing timing modifies free amino acids profiles and storage protein gene expression in wheat grain

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  • Yingxin Zhong, National Technique Innovation Center for Regional Wheat Production, Nanjing Agricultural University
  • ,
  • Dachao Xu, Nanjing Agricultural University
  • ,
  • Kim Henrik Hebelstrup
  • Donglei Yang, Nanjing Agricultural University
  • ,
  • Jian Cai, Nanjing Agricultural University
  • ,
  • Xiao Wang, National Technique Innovation Center for Regional Wheat Production, Nanjing Agricultural University
  • ,
  • Qin Zhou, National Technique Innovation Center for Regional Wheat Production, Nanjing Agricultural University
  • ,
  • Weixing Cao, Nanjing Agricultural University
  • ,
  • Tingbo Dai, Nanjing Agricultural University
  • ,
  • Dong Jiang, National Technique Innovation Center for Regional Wheat Production, Nanjing Agricultural University

Background: Nitrogen is one basic element of amino acids and grain protein in wheat. In field experiments, wheat plants were subjected to different timing of nitrogen topdressing treatments: at the stages of emergence of the top fifth leaf (TL5), top third leaf (TL3) and top first leaf (TL1) to test the regulatory effects of nitrogen topdressing timing on grain protein quality. The underlying mechanisms were elucidated by clarifying the relationship between proteolysis in vegetative organs and accumulation of amino acids in the endosperm cavity, conversion of amino acids, and storage protein synthesis in endosperm of wheat grain. Results: Delayed nitrogen topdressing up-regulated gene expression related to nitrogen metabolism and protease synthesis in the flag leaf, followed by more free amino acids being transported to both the cavity and the endosperm from 7 days after anthesis (DAA) to 13 DAA in TL1. TL1 enhanced the conversion between free amino acids in endosperm and upregulated the expression of genes encoding high molecular weight (HMW) and low molecular weight (LMW) subunits and protein disulfide isomerases-like (PDIL) proteins, indicating that the synthesis and folding of glutenin were enhanched by delayed nitrogen topdressing. As a consequense, the content of glutenin macropolymers (GMP) and glutenin increased with delaying nitrogen topdressing. Conclusions: The results highlight the relationship between nitrogen remobilization and final grain protein production and suggest that the nitrogen remobilization processes could be a potential target for improving the quality of wheat grain. Additionally, specific gene expression related to nitrogen topdressing was identified, which conferred more detailed insights into underlying mechanism on the modification protein quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number353
JournalBMC Plant Biology
Volume18
Issue1
Number of pages14
ISSN1471-2229
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2018

    Research areas

  • Amino acid, Glutenin subunit, Nitrogen topdressing timing, Quaulity, Wheat

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