Annals of Botany News in Brief

Nitrate nutrition improves energy efficiency under hypoxic stress

Plants take up and assimilate nitrogen (N) in the form of nitrate (NO3) or ammonium (NH4+), or a combination of both. When oxygen availability is reduced (hypoxia), plants need to generate energy to survive and protect themselves against the hypoxia-induced damage.

Diagram of the chemical process

Wany et al. investigate the role of NO3 or NH4+ on increasing energy efficiency under hypoxia in Arabidopsis. They find that hypoxic stress under NO3 nutrition leads to increased nitrate reductase activity, nitric oxide (NO) production, class 1 phytoglobin gene expression, and in turn ATP production. These effects were reduced under NH4+ nutrition. The results indicate that NO3nutrition influences multiple factors in order to increase energy efficiency under hypoxia.

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