Nitrogen (N) is a major factor for plant development and productivity. However, the application of nitrogenous fertilizers generates environmental and economic problems. To cope with the increasing global food demand, the development of rice varieties with high nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is indispensable for reducing environmental issues and achieving sustainable agriculture. Here, we report that the concomitant activation of the rice (Oryza sativa) Ammonium transporter 1;2 (OsAMT1;2) and Glutamate synthetase 1 (OsGOGAT1) genes leads to increased tolerance to nitrogen limitation and to better ammonium uptake and N remobilization at the whole plant level. We show that the double activation of OsAMT1;2 and OsGOGAT1 increases plant performance in agriculture, providing better N grain filling without yield penalty under paddy field conditions, as well as better grain yield and N content when plants are grown under N llimitations in field conditions. Combining OsAMT1;2 and OsGOGAT1 activation provides a good breeding strategy for improving plant growth, nitrogen use efficiency and grain productivity, especially under nitrogen limitation, through the enhancement of both nitrogen uptake and assimilation.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.