Overexpression of OsNRT2.3b Improves Phosphorus Uptake and Translocation in Rice
Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are two essential macronutrients for plants.
A team of researchers from Nanjing Agricultural University, headed by Huimin
Feng, hypothesized that overexpression of the rice nitrate transporter,
OsNRT2.3b, can improve rice grain yield and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE).
Overexpression of OsNRT2.3b significantly increased P uptake compared with
wild types. The overexpression also resulted in increased rice grain and
straw yields. Increased P concentrations in rice leaves and unfilled rice
hulls were also observed in these lines. Furthermore, the overexpressing
lines also showed enhanced root biomass and root surface area as well as N
and P accumulation. Analysis revealed that expression levels of genes
related to phosphorus uptake and translocation, OsPT2, OsPT8, and OsPHR2,
were upregulated in the shoots and roots of the overexpressing rice.
These results indicate that OsNRT2.3b overexpression can improve rice P
uptake and accumulation by advancing the root system and enhancing gene
expression of P uptake genes.