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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2022, Vol. 21 Issue (8): 2413-2421    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63753-X
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Ammonium-dependent regulation of ammonium transporter ZmAMT1s expression conferred by glutamine levels in roots of maize
HUI Jing*, LIU Zhi*, DUAN Feng-ying, ZHAO Yang, LI Xue-lian, AN Xia, WU Xiang-yu, YUAN Li-xing
College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, P.R.China
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In maize, two root epidermis-expressed ammonium transporters ZmAMT1;1a and ZmAMT1;3 play major roles in high-affinity ammonium uptake.  However, the transcriptional regulation of ZmAMT1s in roots for ensuring optimal ammonium acquisition remains largely unknown.  Here, using a split root system we showed that ZmAMT1;1a and ZmAMT1;3 transcript levels were induced by localized ammonium supply to nitrogen-deficient roots.  This enhanced expression of ZmAMT1s correlated with increases in 15NH4+ influx rates and tissue glutamine concentrations in roots.  When ammonium was supplied together with methionine sulfoximine, an inhibitor of glutamine synthase, ammonium-induced expression of ZmAMT1s disappeared, suggesting that glutamine rather than ammonium itself regulated ZmAMT1s expression.  When glutamine was supplied to nitrogen-deficient roots, expression levels of ZmAMT1s were enhanced, and negative feedback regulation could subsequently occur by supply of glutamine at a high level.  Thus, our results indicated an ammonium-dependent regulation of ZmAMT1s at transcript levels, and a dual role of glutamine was suggested in the regulation of ammonium uptake in maize roots.

Keywords:  ammonium transporter        pH        glutamine        maize roots        nitrogen        transcriptional regulation  
Received: 18 March 2021   Accepted: 19 May 2021
Fund: This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31471934 and 30971863) and the Major Project of China on New Varieties of GMO Cultivation (2016ZX08003-005).

About author:  HUI Jing, E-mail:; Correspondence YUAN Li-xing, Tel: +86-10-62734424, E-mail: * These authors contributed equally to this study.

Cite this article: 

HUI Jing, LIU Zhi, DUAN Feng-ying, ZHAO Yang, LI Xue-lian, AN Xia, WU Xiang-yu, YUAN Li-xing. 2022. Ammonium-dependent regulation of ammonium transporter ZmAMT1s expression conferred by glutamine levels in roots of maize. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 21(8): 2413-2421.

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