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Nitrogen metabolism correlates with the acclimation of photosynthesis to short-term water stress in rice (Oryza sativa L.)
Chu Zhong+, Xiaochuang Cao+, Zhigang Bai, Junhua Zhang, Lianfeng Zhu, Jianliang Huang and Qianyu Jin*
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry  , 2018, 125:52-62.

Abstract

Nitrogen metabolism is as sensitive to water stress as photosynthesis, but its role in plant under soil drying is not well understood. We hypothesized that the alterations in N metabolism could be related to the acclimation of photosynthesis to water stress. The features of photosynthesis and N metabolism in a japonica rice ‘Jiayou 5’ and an indica rice ‘Zhongzheyou 1’ were investigated under mild and moderate soil drying with a pot experiment. Soil drying increased non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) and reduced photon quantum efficiency of PSII and CO2 fixation in ‘Zhongzheyou 1’, whereas the effect was much slighter in ‘Jiayou 5’. Nevertheless, the photosynthetic rate of the two cultivars showed no significant difference between control and water stress. Soil drying increased nitrate reducing in leaves of ‘Zhongzheyou 1’, characterized by enhanced nitrate reductase (NR) activity and lowered nitrate content; whereas glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH), glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT) and glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (GPT) were relative slightly affected. ‘Jiayou 5’ plants increased the accumulation of nitrate under soil drying, although its NR activity was increased. In addition, the activities of GDH, GOT and GPT were typically increased under soil drying. Besides, amino acids and soluble sugar were significantly increased under mild and moderate soil drying, respectively. The accumulation of nitrate, amino acid and sugar could serve as osmotica in ‘Jiayou 5’. The results reveal that N metabolism plays diverse roles in the photosynthetic acclimation of rice plants to soil drying.