High yield and early maturation in rice overexpressing nitrate transporter (Plant Cell)

The application of nitrogen-containing fertilizers is crucial for good yields of crops like rice but also is energy intensive and polluting, so many approaches are being explored to develop plants that are more efficient in their uptake and use of nitrogen. Previous studies identified a crucial role of AtNRT1.1 (AtNPF6.3) as a nitrate sensor and transporter in Arabidopsis.  Rice has three putative homologues of AtNRT1.1: OsNRT1.1A, OsNRT1.1B, and OsNRT1.1C (OsNPF6.4). Wang et al. overexpressed one of these, OsNRT1.1A (from its own and a constitutively-expressed actin promoter), and found that the resulting plants showed improved utilization of N. Similar results were seen when this gene was overexpressed in Arabidopsis, showing the potential for it to enhance N utilization in both monocots and dicots. (Summary by Mary Williams) Plant Cell 10.1105/tpc.17.00809