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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2020, Vol. 19 Issue (11): 2709-2724    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(20)63344-5
Special Issue: 园艺-栽培生理/资源品质合辑Horticulture — Physiology · Biochemistry · Cultivation
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The mitigation effects of exogenous dopamine on low nitrogen stress in Malus hupehensis
LIU Xiao-min, GAO Teng-teng, ZHANG Zhi-jun, TAN Ke-xin, JIN Yi-bo, ZHAO Yong-juan, MA Feng-wang, LI Chao
State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas, Ministry of Science and Technology/Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Apple, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, P.R.China
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Dopamine plays numerous physiological roles in plants.  We explored its role in the regulation of growth, nutrient absorption, and response to nitrogen (N) deficiency in Malus hupehensis Rehd.  Under low N condition, plant growth slowed, and the net photosynthetic rates, chlorophyll contents, and maximal quantum yield of PSII (Fv/Fm) decreased significantly.  However, the application of 100 μmol L−1 exogenous dopamine significantly reduced the inhibition of low N stress on plant growth.  In addition to modifying root system architecture under low N supply, exogenous dopamine also changed the uptake, transport, and distribution of N, P, and K.  Furthermore, exogenous dopamine enhances the tolerance to low nitrogen stress by increasing the activity of enzymes (nitrate reductase, nitrite reductase, glutamic acid synthase and glutamine synthetase) involved in N metabolism.  We also found that exogenous dopamine promoted the expression of ethylene signaling genes (ERF1, ERF2, EIL1, ERS2, ETR1, and EIN4) under low N stress.  Therefore, we hypothesized that ethylene might be involved in dopamine response to low N stress in M. hupehensis.  Our results suggest that exogenous dopamine can mitigate low N stress by regulating the absorption of mineral nutrients, possibly through the regulation of the ethylene signaling pathway.
Keywords:  nitrogen deficiency        dopamine        root system architecture        ethylene        Malus hupehensis  
Received: 18 February 2020   Accepted:
Fund: This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFD1000303), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31972389), the Natural Science Basic Research Plan in Shaanxi Province, China (2018JQ3001) and Cyrus Tang Foundation, Northwest A&F University, China.
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence LI Chao, Tel/Fax: +86-29-87082648, E-mail:   
About author:  LIU Xiao-min, E-mail:;
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LIU Xiao-min
GAO Teng-teng
ZHANG Zhi-jun
TAN Ke-xin
JIN Yi-bo
ZHAO Yong-juan
MA Feng-wang
LI Chao

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LIU Xiao-min, GAO Teng-teng, ZHANG Zhi-jun, TAN ke-xin, JIN Yi-bo, ZHAO Yong-juan, MA Feng-wang, LI Chao. 2020. The mitigation effects of exogenous dopamine on low nitrogen stress in Malus hupehensis. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 19(11): 2709-2724.

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