Accumulation of ammonium and reactive oxygen mediated drought-induced rice growth inhibition by disturbed nitrogen metabolism and photosynthesis
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Background and aims
Nitrogen (N) deficiency and drought are two key limiting factors for rice production worldwide, but the relationship of drought stress with N homeostasis in rice is rarely advanced. The aim of this study was to dissect the physiological effects of drought stress on rice growth that coupled unbalanced N metabolism.
Water-deficient stress (WD) limited stomatal aperture function and activity of Rubisco carboxylase to photosynthesis. The rate of total electron transport (Jt) and the electron to carboxylation (Jc) were considerably decreased, whereas the proportion of e− flow to photorespiration was stimulated by WD, especially at 1600 μmol m−2 s−1 PPFD. Concurrently, the expressions of glycolate oxidase genes (GOX1, GOX5) and glycine decarboxylase complex (GDCH, GDCP and GDCT) were significantly induced in leaves of WD treatment, which led to the accumulation of reactive oxygen species in leaves. With the photosynthetic change, nitrate uptake and reduction were suppressed. Moreover, the enhanced photorespiration generated excess NH3 accumulation in leaves and stimulated the expressions of GS1;1, GS1;2 and GS2, which were tightly coupled with the expressions of PEPC1 and PEPC2 under WD stress.
Our results suggest that the inhibited nitrate reduction associated with diminished electron transport rate, and the photorespiration-associated accumulation of hydrogen peroxide and NH3 were critical in the drought-induced rice growth inhibition.
KeywordsWater-deficient stress Photosynthesis Nitrogen metabolism Photorespiration Ammonium accumulation Rice
This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2016YFD0200108).
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