Ammonium transport and CitAMT1 expression are regulated by light and sucrose in Citrus plants
Here the isolation and characterization of CitAMT1 cDNA from citrange Troyer (Citrus sinensis L. OsbeckxPoncirus trifoliata Blanco) is reported, suggesting that this belongs to the AMT gene family, which is involved in the high-affinity transport system (HATS). Results show that in Citrus plants, the HATS is much more dependent on the light conditions and C status of the roots than the low-affinity transport system. Most importantly, a strong correlation was found between the regulation of both HATS activity and CitAMT1 expression. CitAMT1 expression is sucrose-stimulated and may account for the regulation of NH₄⁺ HATS. Furthermore, a similar link was also recorded with photosynthetic activity in the shoots, suggesting that the variations in production and transport of photosynthates to the roots are responsible for the diurnal changes of both CitAMT1 expression and NH₄⁺ HATS activity. On the other hand, results indicate that the effect of stimulating light on CitAMT1 expression and NH₄⁺ HATS activity is independent of the circadian rhythm. Finally, CitAMT1 expression seems to be specifically stimulated by sucrose, suggesting that sucrose is a pivotal signal governing both assimilate partitioning from source organs and assimilate utilization in sink organs.
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