Discovery of new pathway regulating nitrate absorption in plants
Recently a new pathway has been discovered to regulate nitrate absorption in plants.
Researchers from the National Center of Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research have studied a target gene of miR444 (micro-RNA) in both rice (monocot) and tobacco (dicot) plants.
This gene is also called MADS27.
miR444 plays a role of switch regulatory. This MADS box is known to inactivate at least five genes called transcription factor (copying factor) genes.
The MADS box binds to their preferred particular DNA sequences and activates neighboring genes.
Three-dimensional effect of the MADS27 gene
- Nitrate regulates this process by activating proteins involved in the absorption process.
- It promotes better root development by controlling the production and movement of auxin hormones.
- Supports abiotic stress tolerance by activating key stress tolerance proteins.
Effects of Nitrate Imbalance
- Without nitrates, the amount of chlorophyll in the leaves is reduced. This deficiency causes leaves to turn pale green or yellow in colour.
- This reduces the yield of the farmers’ crop.
- Excess of nitrogen causes iron deficiency in the leaves of plants.
- Nitrogen is one of the most important micronutrients for plant growth.
- Plants absorb nitrogen from the soil in the form of nitrates and ammonium.
- Nitrates play a role in controlling gene expression throughout the genome. This controls the root system structure, flowering time, leaf development, etc.
Source – The Hindu