Plant requires nitrogen for the growth, and it use nitrate and ammonium from the environment. Plant suffers from the toxicity when excess ammonium is supplied as a sole nitrogen, although it could be a good nitrogen source for plant growth. We hypothesized that the different responses of ecotypes to ammonium nutrient could partly account for the adaptation of Arabidopsis to an ammonium environment. The purpose of this study is to understand the different responses of ecotypes in ammonium environment. The growth of Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes, Columbia was compared to those of Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes, Landsberg erecta in ammonium nutrient. The ratio of shoot dry weight to root dry weight was compared to evaluate the adaptation of two ecotypes. The shoot:root ratio of Landsberg was significantly higher than that of Columbia. T-DNA insertion in cytosolic glutamine synthetase 1;2, one of the essential ammonium assimilatory enzymes, led a decrease of shoot:root ratio. We also measured the isotope-labeled ammonium uptake and the expression levels of ammonium transporter genes, and also the expression of ammonium assimilatory genes, glutamine synthetase genes and glutamate synthase genes, in roots after ammonium re-supply using real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis. We found that (1) ammonium uptake of Landsberg erecta was higher than that of Columbia, when ammonium was supplied at higher concentration, and (2) cytosolic glutamine synthetase 1;2 was highly increased by ammonium supply in the root of Landsberg erecta. The present study suggested the importance of these two factors for adaptation of Arabidopsis to an ammonium-rich environment.
- glutamine synthetase