The source of inorganic nitrogen has distinct effects on cell wall composition in Brachypodium distachyon

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Plants have evolved different strategies to utilize various forms of nitrogen (N) from the environment. While regulation of plant growth and development in response to application of inorganic N forms has been characterized, our knowledge about the effect on cell wall structure and composition is quite limited. In this study, we analysed cell walls of Brachypodium distachyon supplied with three types of inorganic N (NH4NO3, NO3-, or NH4+). Cell wall profiles showed distinct alterations in both the quantity and structures of individual polymers. Nitrate stimulated cellulose, but inhibited lignin deposition at the heading growth stage. On the other hand, ammonium supply resulted in higher concentration of mixed linkage glucans. In addition, the chemical structure of pectins and hemicelluloses was strongly influenced by the form of N. Supply of only NO3- led to alteration in xylan substitution and to lower esterification of homogalacturonan. We conclude that the physiological response to absorption of different inorganic N forms includes pleotropic remodelling of type II cell walls.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number21
Pages (from-to)6461-6473
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019

    Research areas

  • Ammonium, arabinoxylans, Brachypodium distachyon, cell wall, cellulose, ferulic acid, homogalacturonan, lignin, mixed linkage glucan, nitrate

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