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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2021, Vol. 20 Issue (5): 1216-1228    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(20)63216-6
Special Issue: Triticeae Crops Physiology · Biochemistry · Cultivation · Tillage
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Changes of oxidative metabolism in the roots of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) seedlings in response to elevated ammonium concentrations
LIU Yang1, 2*, LI Yu-xiang2*, LI Yi-xiang1, TIAN Zhong-wei1, HU Jin-ling1, Steve ADKINS3, DAI Ting-bo1
1 Key Laboratory of Crop Physiology and Ecology in Southern China/College of Agriculture, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, P.R.China
2 College of Agriculture, Shihezi University, Shihezi 823003, P.R.China
3 School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, the University of Queensland, Gatton QLD 4343, Australia
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To elucidate the response of oxidative metabolism, triggered by elevated ammonium (NH4+) concentrations, on root growth of wheat seedlings, Yumai 49 (NH4+-tolerant) and Lumai 15 (NH4+-sensitive) cultivars were supplied with either 5.0 mmol L–1 NH4+-N (EAC) or 5.0 mmol L–1 NO3-N (CON) under hydroponic conditions.  Root growth in both cultivars was significantly reduced under EAC, and the negative effect was greater in Lumai 15.  EAC enhanced the activities of monodehydroascorbate reductase and dehydroascorbate reductase in the roots of both cultivars, while it decreased ascorbic acid (ASA) content and GDP-mannose pyrophosphorylase (GMPase) activity at the 12th day after treatment in Lumai 15 by 62.0 and 71.4%; and in Yumai 49 by 38.8 and 62.2%, respectively, indicating that the regeneration of ASA was increased, but the biosynthesis of ASA was reduced under EAC treatment.  Moreover, EAC increased DHA/ASA, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and malondialdehyde contents, as well as antioxidant enzyme activities in the roots of both cultivars.  Relatively greater increases in ROS and soluble sugar, and lower antioxidant enzyme activities in Lumai 15 indicate severe disruption of oxidative metabolism when compared to Yumai 49.  Results reveal that the reduction of ASA biosynthesis via decreased GMPase activity under the EAC condition probably acts as a trigger for accumulated ROS and imbalanced redox status, resulting in root growth inhibition during wheat seedling growth stage.  Yumai 49, being an NH4+-tolerant cultivar, had the stronger capacity to protect itself from oxidative stress, which allowed it to retain a lower DHA to ASA ratio by maintaining a better redox homeostasis than could be maintained in the NH4+-sensitive cultivar Lumai 15.
Keywords:  elevated ammonium concentrations        oxidative metabolism        redox homeostasis        root morphology        wheat  
Received: 11 November 2019   Accepted: 12 April 2021
Fund: This study was funded by a project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31471443), the Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Modern Crop Production, China (JCIC-MCP) and the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, China (PAPD).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence DAI Ting-bo, Tel: +86-25-84396466, E-mail:    
About author:  * These authors contributed equally to this study.

Cite this article: 

LIU Yang, LI Yu-xiang, LI Yi-xiang, TIAN Zhong-wei, HU Jin-ling, Steve ADKINS, DAI Ting-bo. 2021. Changes of oxidative metabolism in the roots of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) seedlings in response to elevated ammonium concentrations. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 20(5): 1216-1228.

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