Publication in Molecular Plant by Professor ZHENG Shaojians Laboratory, Institute of Plant Biology

Title: A Transcription Factor STOP1-Centered Pathway Coordinates Ammonium and Phosphate Acquisition in Arabidopsis

Wen Hao Tian, Jia Yuan Ye, Meng Qi Cui, Jun Bo Chang, Yu Liu, Gui Xin Li, Yun Rong Wu, Ji Ming Xu, Nicholas P. Harberd, Chuan Zao Mao, Chong Wei Jin, Zhong Jie DingShao Jian Zheng

Published: June 29, 2021



Phosphorus (P) is an indispensable macronutrient required for plant growth and development. Natural phosphate (Pi) reserves are finite, thus a better understanding of Pi utilization by crops is vital for worldwide food security. Ammonium has long been known to enhance Pi acquisition efficiency in agriculture; however, the molecular basis linking Pi nutrition and ammonium remains unclear. Here, we discover that ammonium is a novel initiator that stimulates accumulation of a key regulatory protein, STOP1, in the nucleus of Arabidopsis root cells under Pi deficiency. We show that Pi deficiency promotes ammonium uptake mediated by AMT1 transporters, and rapid acidification of the root surface. Rhizosphere acidification-triggered STOP1 accumulation activates excretion of organic acids, which help solubilize Pi from insoluble iron or calcium phosphates. Ammonium uptake by AMT1 transport is down-regulated by a CIPK23 protein kinase whose expression is directly modulated by STOP1 when ammonium reaches toxic levels. Thus, we have identified a STOP1-centered regulatory network that links external ammonium with efficient Pi acquisition from insoluble phosphate sources. These findings provide a framework towards strategies to improve crop production by enhancing the utilization of non-bioavailable nutrient in soil.


More: Transcription factor STOP1 coordinates ammonium and phosphate nutrition

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