Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 129, Issue 4, pp 737–748 | Cite as

Gene characterization and transcription analysis of two new ammonium transporters in pear rootstock (Pyrus betulaefolia)

  • Hui Li
  • Jin-Long Han
  • You-Hong Chang
  • Jing Lin
  • Qing-Song Yang
Regular Paper


Ammonium is the primarily nitrogen source for plant growth, but the molecular basis of ammonium acquisition in fruit species remains poorly understood. In this study, we report on the characterization of two new ammonium transporters (AMT) in the perennial tree Pyrus betulaefolia. In silico analyses and yeast complementation assays revealed that both PbAMT1;3 and PbAMT1;5 can be classified in the AMT1 sub-family. The specific expression of PbAMT1;3 in roots and of PbAMT1;5 in leaves indicates that they have diverse functions in ammonium uptake or transport in P. betulaefolia. Their expression was strongly influenced by ammonium availability. In addition, the transcript level of PbAMT1;5 was significantly affected by the diurnal cycle and senescence hormones. They conferred the ability to uptake nitrogen to the yeast strain 31019b; however, the 15NH4 + uptake kinetics of PbAMT1;3 were different from those of PbAMT1;5. Indeed, PbAMT1;3 had a higher affinity for 15NH4 +, and pH changes were associated with this substrates’ transport in yeast. The present study provides basic gene features and transcriptional information for the two new members of the AMT1 sub-family in P. betulaefolia and will aid in decoding the precise roles of AMTs in P. betulaefolia physiology.


Pyrus betulaefolia Ammonium transporter Gene characterization Expression pattern Functional complementation 



Abscisic acid


Ammonium transporter




Molecular evolutionary genetics analysis


Methyl jasmonate


Absorbance value at 600 nm


Quantitative real-time PCR


Transmembrane domains



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Number: 31372051).

Supplementary material

10265_2016_799_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (319 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 320 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hui Li
    • 1
  • Jin-Long Han
    • 1
  • You-Hong Chang
    • 1
  • Jing Lin
    • 1
  • Qing-Song Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Horticulture, Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences/Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Horticultural Crop Genetic ImprovementNanjingChina

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