Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 116, Issue 3, pp 253–257

Nitrate-specific and cytokinin-mediated nitrogen signaling pathways in plants

JPR Symposium

DOI: 10.1007/s10265-003-0097-3

Cite this article as:
Sakakibara, H. J Plant Res (2003) 116: 253. doi:10.1007/s10265-003-0097-3


Inorganic nitrogen is a limiting factor in plant growth and development. Plants constantly sense changes in nitrogen availability and respond appropriately by modulating gene expression. Plants employ multiple routes for the long-distance signaling and communication of nitrogen status. One of these depends on nitrate itself (nitrate-specific signaling), while another uses cytokinin as a messenger. Recent studies suggest that nitrate-specific signaling functions predominantly in the context of the synthesis of amino acids and nucleic acids. This pathway includes the control of the expression of a wide variety of genes. On the other hand, cytokinin-mediated signaling is related mainly to the control of nitrogen partitioning and development. Nitrogen-dependent cytokinin accumulation and the involvement of His-Asp phosphorelay systems are characteristic of this pathway. The coordination of both regulatory pathways seems to be crucially important for the integration of nitrogen signals at the whole plant level.


Arabidopsis thalianaCytokininHis-Asp phosphorelayNitrogen availabilityTwo-component systemZea mays

Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer-Verlag  2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plant Science CenterRIKEN (The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research)Tsurumi, Yokohama 230-0045Japan