, Volume 70, Issue 12, pp 1586–1596 | Cite as

Expression of bacterial glutamine synthetase gene in Arabidopsis thaliana increases the plant biomass and level of nitrogen utilization

  • Chenguang ZhuEmail author
  • Guimin Zhang
  • Chunlei Shen
  • Shilin Chen
  • Yuanping Tang
  • Bing Mei
  • Rentao Song
Section Botany


Changes in expression of glutamine synthetase (GS) have effect on plant nitrogen metabolism. In order to improve nitrogen use efficiency, several attempts at over-expressing GS II genes in plants have been previously undertaken, however few GSI and III genes are found such application. In this study, two GS I genes were cloned from bacterial strains and were transformed into Arabidopsis thaliana. Expression of the genes was confirmed under both mRNA and protein levels. Phenotypic studies revealed that all transgenic Arabidopsis lines showed enhanced fresh weight (12%) and dry weight (13%) compared with the wild-type plants at two concentrations of nitrate supplies. Further biochemical characterization confirmed that the transgenic lines had higher total nitrogen content (increased by 5–8%), soluble protein concentration (increased by 7–11%), total amino acid content (increased by 4–8%), leaf GS activity (enhanced by 8-14%) and free NO3concentration (increased by 8–16%) compared to wild type Arabidopsis. This work firstly reported that over-expression of bacterial GS I genes in Arabidopsis resulted in improvement of growth phenotype and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of plant. The bacterial GS genes could be potentially useful in engineering transgenic plants of high NUE.

Key words

Arabidopsis thaliana glutamine synthetase nitrogen use efficiency transgenic phenotype 


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Copyright information

© Slovak Academy of Sciences 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chenguang Zhu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Guimin Zhang
    • 1
  • Chunlei Shen
    • 1
  • Shilin Chen
    • 1
  • Yuanping Tang
    • 1
  • Bing Mei
    • 1
  • Rentao Song
    • 1
  1. 1.Shanghai Key Laboratory of Bio-Energy Crops, School of Life SciencesShanghai UniversityShanghaiChina

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