TITLE

Nitrogen use efficiency: re-consideration of the bioengineering approach

AUTHOR(S)
Brauer, Elizabeth K.; Shelp, Barry J.
PUB. DATE
February 2010
SOURCE
Botany;Feb2010, Vol. 88 Issue 2, p103
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Editorial
ABSTRACT
There is considerable confusion about N use efficiency (NUE) in the plant literature. We would like to propose the simple and ubiquitous definitions described by Good et al. (2004) as a starting point for studies of NUE. Based on this terminology, there is evidence from breeding programs for variation in both uptake efficiency (UpE) and utilization efficiency (UtE). Molecular physiology studies typically address mechanisms for improving NUE, but often do not calculate NUE or even acquire appropriate data for calculating NUE. Herein, we report in detail on recent studies involving molecular approaches for improving NUE, and calculate changes in NUE where possible. The evidence suggests that there is potential for improving usage index and UpE in dicots and UpE and UtE in monocots by overexpressing enzymes for N assimilation, specifically glutamine synthetase 1, glutamate synthase, and alanine aminotransferase. If decreased fertilizer-N input and improved NUE are truly goals of the plant biology community, researchers are encouraged to (i) consider the use of both wild type and azygous controls, (ii) compare general NUE (on the basis of grain or biomass yield per unit of applied N) of overexpression mutants and controls at both limiting and non-limiting N levels, (iii) select an appropriate type of specific NUE for assessing the physiological mechanisms involved (uptake versus internal utilization), and (iv) confirm promising results under field conditions.
ACCESSION #
48453418

 

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