Journal of Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 22–34 | Cite as

V-ATPase and V-PPase at the Tonoplast Affect NO3 Content in Brassica napus by Controlling Distribution of NO3 Between the Cytoplasm and Vacuole

  • Yongliang Han
  • Qiang Liu
  • Jidong Gu
  • Jiming Gong
  • Chunyun Guan
  • Joe Eugene Lepo
  • Xiangmin Rong
  • Haixing SongEmail author
  • Zhenhua ZhangEmail author


Nitrate, once taken up by plants, can either be stored in vacuoles or reduced by nitrate reductase in the cytoplasm. High accumulation of NO3 in the vacuole occurs when assimilation into the cytoplasm is saturated. This study elucidates how proton pumps at the tonoplast (V-ATPase and V-PPase) affect the NO3 content of Brassica napus by controlling the distribution of NO3 between the cytoplasm and vacuole. Pot experiments were conducted in a greenhouse under normal N (15.0 mM nitrate) conditions using B. napus genotypes that demonstrated either high (Xiangyou15) or low (814) nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). The NO3 content of the high NUE genotype was significantly lower than that of the low NUE genotype, whereas the total N per plant of the two genotypes was almost the same, suggesting that the different NUE between the two genotypes is not due to the difference of NO3 uptake. The relative expression levels of V-ATPase (vha-a3) and V-PPase (avp1) genes in the high NUE genotype were significantly lower than in the low NUE genotype, resulting in lower V-ATPase and V-PPase activities in the high NUE genotype. The transport of NO3 and protons from the cytoplasm to the vacuole is powered by V-ATPase and V-PPase, so their lower activities increase H+ efflux from and reduce NO3 influx into the vacuoles of the high NUE genotype. We conclude that the lower activity of proton pumps at the tonoplast is the main reason the high NUE genotype possesses lower NO3 content and higher N-use efficiency.


N-use efficiency Nitrate Proton pumps in the tonoplast Nitrate reductase Vacuole Brassica napus 



This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant nos. 31101596 and 31372130), Talent Scholar of Hunan Agricultural University (11YJ21) P. R. China. FuRong Scholar Program of Hunan Province, P. R. China, The “Twelfth Five-Year” National Science and technology support program (2012BAD15BO4). Open project of National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics. Open novel science foundation of Hunan province (13K062). We thank Tanya Streeter and Juanita Johns from the University of West Florida, United States of America for proofreading drafts of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yongliang Han
    • 1
  • Qiang Liu
    • 1
  • Jidong Gu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jiming Gong
    • 3
  • Chunyun Guan
    • 4
  • Joe Eugene Lepo
    • 5
  • Xiangmin Rong
    • 1
  • Haixing Song
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zhenhua Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Resources and Environment SciencesHunan Agricultural UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesThe University of Hong KongHong Kong SARPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institute for Biological SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesShanghaiChina
  4. 4.National Center of Oilseed Crops ImprovementChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.Center for Environmental Diagnostics and BioremediationUniversity of West FloridaPensacolaUSA

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