Manipulating the pathway of ammonia assimilation through genetic engineering and breeding: consequences to plant physiology and plant development
- Cite this article as:
- Harrison, J., Brugière, N., Phillipson, B. et al. Plant and Soil (2000) 221: 81. doi:10.1023/A:1004715720043
In this article we discuss the ways in which our understanding of the nature of the molecular controls of nitrogen assimilation have been increased by the use of leguminous and non-leguminous plants with modified capacities for ammonium assimilation. These modifications have been achieved through genetic engineering and breeding. An improved understanding of nitrogen assimilation will be vital if improvements in crop nitrogen use efficiency are to be made to reduce the need for excessive input of fertilisers. In this review we present an overall view of past work and more recent studies on this topic. In our work, using tobacco and Lotus as model plants, glutamine synthetase and glutamate synthase activites have been altered by stimulating or inhibiting in an organ- or tissue-specific manner the expression of the corresponding genes. The physiological impact of these genetic manipulations has been studied on plants grown under different nitrogen regimes.