Global gene expression analysis of the response of physic nut (Jatropha curcas L.) to medium- and long-term nitrogen deficiency.

PloS one

PubMedID: 28817702

Kuang Q, Zhang S, Wu P, Chen Y, Li M, Jiang H, Wu G. Global gene expression analysis of the response of physic nut (Jatropha curcas L.) to medium- and long-term nitrogen deficiency. PLoS ONE. 2017;12(8):e0182700.
Jatropha curcas L. is an important biofuel plant with excellent tolerance of barren environments. However, studies on the regulatory mechanisms that operate in this plant in response to nitrogen (N) shortage are scarce. In this study, genome-wide transcriptional profiles of the roots and leaves of 8-week old physic nut seedlings were analyzed after 2 and 16 days of N starvation. Enrichment results showed that genes associated with N metabolism, processing and regulation of RNA, and transport predominated among those showing alterations in expression. Genes encoding transporter families underwent major changes in expression in both roots and leaves; in particular, those with roles in ammonia, amino acid and peptide transport were generally up-regulated after long-term starvation, while AQUAPORIN genes, whose products function in osmoregulation, were down-regulated. We also found that ASPARA-GINASE B1 and SARCOSINE OXIDASE genes were up-regulated in roots and leaves after 2 and 16 d N starvation. Genes associated with ubiquitination-mediated protein degradation were significantly up-regulated. In addition, genes in the JA biosynthesis pathway were strongly activated while expression of those in GA signaling was inhibited in leaves. We showed that four major classes of genes, those with roles in N uptake, N reutilization, C/N ratio balance, and cell structure and synthesis, were particularly influenced by long-term N limitation. Our discoveries may offer clues to the molecular mechanisms that regulate N reallocation and reutilization so as to maintain or increase plant performance even under adverse environmental conditions.