To understand the molecular mechanism of nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in rice, two nitrogen (N) use efficient genotypes and two non-efficient genotypes were characterized using transcriptome analyses. The four genotypes were evaluated for 3 years under low and recommended N field conditions for 12 traits/parameters of yield, straw, nitrogen content along with NUE indices and 2 promising donors for rice NUE were identified. Using the transcriptome data generated from GS FLX 454 Roche and Illumina HiSeq 2000 of two efficient and two non-efficient genotypes grown under field conditions of low N and recommended N and their de novo assembly, differentially expressed transcripts and pathways during the panicle development were identified. Down regulation was observed in 30% of metabolic pathways in efficient genotypes and is being proposed as an acclimation strategy to low N. Ten sub metabolic pathways significantly enriched with additional transcripts either in the direction of the common expression or contra-regulated to the common expression were found to be critical for NUE in rice. Among the up-regulated transcripts in efficient genotypes, a hypothetical protein OsI_17904 with 2 alternative forms suggested the role of alternative splicing in NUE of rice and a potassium channel SKOR transcript (LOC_Os06g14030) has shown a positive correlation (0.62) with single plant yield under low N in a set of 16 rice genotypes. From the present study, we propose that the efficient genotypes appear to down regulate several not so critical metabolic pathways and divert the thus conserved energy to produce seed/yield under long-term N starvation.
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Nitrogen use efficiency
Nitrogen Harvest Index
Physiological nitrogen use efficiency
Differentially expressed transcripts
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This work was supported by National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India [F. No. Phy/ NICRA/2011-2012].
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Neeraja, C.N., Barbadikar, K.M., Krishnakanth, T. et al. Down regulation of transcripts involved in selective metabolic pathways as an acclimation strategy in nitrogen use efficient genotypes of rice under low nitrogen. 3 Biotech 11, 80 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13205-020-02631-5
- Nitrogen use efficiency
- Metabolic pathways
- Differential gene expression
- SKOR transporter