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The vegetative nitrogen response of sorghum lines containing different alleles for nitrate reductase and glutamate synthase

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Diatloff, E., Mace, E. S., Jordan, D. R., Filleur, S., Tai, S., Schmidt, S. and Godwin, I. D. (2017) The vegetative nitrogen response of sorghum lines containing different alleles for nitrate reductase and glutamate synthase. Molecular Breeding, 37 (11). ISSN 1572-9788

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11032-017-0738-1


Improving the nitrogen (N) responsiveness of crops is crucial for food security and environmental sustainability, and breeding N use efficient (NUE) crops has to exploit genetic variation for this complex trait. We used reverse genetics to examine allelic variation in two N metabolism genes. In silico analysis of the genomes of 44 genetically diverse sorghum genotypes identified a nitrate reductase and a glutamate synthase gene that were under balancing selection in improved sorghum cultivars. We hypothesised that these genes are a potential source of differences in NUE, and selected parents and progeny of nested association mapping populations with different allelic combinations for these genes. Allelic variation was sourced from African (Macia) and Indian (ICSV754) genotypes that had been incorporated into the Australian elite parent R931945-2-2. Nine genotypes were grown for 30 days in a glasshouse and supplied with continuous limiting or replete N, or replete N for 27 days followed by 3 days of N starvation. Biomass, total N and nitrate contents were quantified together with gene expressions in leaves, stems and roots. Limiting N supply universally resulted in less shoot and root growth, increased root weight ratio and reduced tissue nitrate and total N concentrations. None of the tested genotypes exceeded growth or NUE of the elite parent R931945-2-2 indicating that the allelic combinations did not confer an advantage during early vegetative growth. Thus, the next steps for ascertaining potential effects on NUE include growing plants to maturity. We conclude that reverse genetics that take advantage of rapidly expanding genomic databases enable a systematic approach for developing N-efficient crops.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Subjects:Science > Biology > Molecular Biology
Science > Biology > Genetics
Plant culture > Field crops > Sorghum
Live Archive:11 Jan 2018 06:54
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:51

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