Higher plants have both high- and low-affinity nitrate uptake systems (HATS and LATS respectively). Here we report the isolation and characterization of two genes, NpNRT1.1 and NpNRT1.2, from Nicotiana plumbaginifolia whose structural features suggest that they both belong to the NRT1 gene family, which is involved in the LATS. Amino acid sequence alignment showed that the N. plumbaginifolia proteins have greater similarity to their corresponding tomato homologues than to each other. Genomic Southern blot analysis indicates that there are probably more than two members of this family in N. plumbaginifolia. Northern blot analysis shows that NpNRT1.2 expression is restricted strictly to roots, whereas NpNRT1.1, in addition to roots, is expressed at a basal level in all other plant organs. Likewise, differential expression in response to external treatments with various N sources was observed for these two genes: NpNRT1.1 can be considered as a constitutively expressed gene whereas NpNRT1.2 expression is dependent strictly on high nitrate concentrations. Finally, over-expression of a gene involved in the HATS does not lead to any modification of LATS gene expression.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 4, 2004
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