LIFE SCIENCE

This gene can improve both drought resistance and nitrogen fertilizer utilization efficiency of wheat


Growth of wheat field treated with low nitrogen Courtesy of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Recently, the wheat stress-resistant molecular breeding innovation team of the Institute of Crop Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences found that the GMTDN1 gene can synergistically improve the drought resistance and nitrogen use efficiency of wheat, which opens up a new way to improve the drought resistance and water saving and nitrogen fertilizer utilization efficiency of wheat at the same time. The results were published in the Plant Biotechnology Journal.

According to Ma Youzhi, a researcher at the institute, wheat is mainly grown in arid or semi-arid areas. Drought and nitrogen deficiency are the main limiting factors affecting global wheat yields, and it is of great significance to synergistically improve wheat’s drought and water resistance and low nitrogen tolerance. Plant water and nutrient metabolism are related physiological processes. Previous studies have shown that drought stress strongly affects nitrogen metabolism, and conversely, nitrogen application can also improve crop drought tolerance. Therefore, understanding the correlation between drought stress response and nitrogen uptake and utilization is of great significance for the coordinated regulation of plant drought resistance and nitrogen use efficiency.

The researchers cloned the transcription factor gene GmTDN1 from the stress-resistant soybean variety “Tiefeng 8”, and the gene expression profiling analysis showed that GMTDN1 could respond to various abiotic stresses such as drought and low nitrogen, and introduced GMTDN1 into two mainly planted wheat varieties, “Shi 4185” and “Jimai 22”, which significantly improved the water-saving drought resistance and nitrogen fertilizer utilization efficiency of wheat.

Field experiments conducted at three different sites for three consecutive years showed that the yields of “Shi 4185” and “Jimai 22” wheat with GMTDN1 gene introduced into the GmTDN1 gene increased by 13.0% and 24.5%, respectively, under water-saving conditions and nitrogen deficiency conditions.

Further studies found that excessive expression of GmTDN1 gene in wheat can upregulate the expression of drought stress response genes such as LEA, EREBP1, WRKY46 and nitrate transporter gene NRT2.5, enhance the photosynthetic and osmotic regulation, oxidation, and root nitrogen uptake capacity of wheat, and ultimately improve the drought resistance and nitrogen fertilizer utilization efficiency of wheat.

The research was supported by projects such as the Science and Technology Innovation Project of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. (Source: China Science Daily, Li Chen, Wei Fei)

Related paper information:https://doi.org/10.1111/pbi.13836



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