Nitrogen (N) fertilization is one of the main inputs to increase crop yield and food production. However, crops utilize only 30–40% of N applied; the remainder is leached into the soil, causing environmental and health damage. In this scenario, the improvement of nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE) will be an essential strategy for sustainable agriculture. Here, we compared two pairs of NUE-contrasting eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) genotypes, employing GC-MS and UPLC-qTOF-MS-based technologies to determine the differential profiles of primary and secondary metabolites in root and shoot tissues, under N starvation as well as at short-and long-term N-limiting resupply. Firstly, differences in the primary metabolism pathways of shoots related to alanine, aspartate and glutamate; starch, sucrose and glycine; serine and threonine; and in secondary metabolites biosynthesis were detected. An integrated analysis between differentially accumulated metabolites and expressed transcripts highlighted a key role of glycine accumulation and the related glyA transcript in the N-use-efficient genotypes to cope with N-limiting stress. Interestingly, a correlation between both sucrose synthase (SUS)-and fructokinase (scrK)-transcript abundances, as well as D-glucose and D-fructose accumulation, appeared useful to distinguish the N-use-efficient genotypes. Furthermore, increased levels of L-aspartate and L-asparagine in the N-use-efficient genotypes at short-term low-N exposure were detected. Granule-bound starch synthase (WAXY) and endoglucanase (E3.2.1.4) downregulation at long-term N stress was observed. Therefore, genes and metabolites related to these pathways could be exploited to improve NUE in eggplant.

Uncovering Pathways Highly Correlated to NUE through a Combined Metabolomics and Transcriptomics Approach in Eggplant

Aci M. M.;Araniti F.;Lupini A.;Panuccio M. R.;Abenavoli M. R.;Sunseri F.
2022

Abstract

Nitrogen (N) fertilization is one of the main inputs to increase crop yield and food production. However, crops utilize only 30–40% of N applied; the remainder is leached into the soil, causing environmental and health damage. In this scenario, the improvement of nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE) will be an essential strategy for sustainable agriculture. Here, we compared two pairs of NUE-contrasting eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) genotypes, employing GC-MS and UPLC-qTOF-MS-based technologies to determine the differential profiles of primary and secondary metabolites in root and shoot tissues, under N starvation as well as at short-and long-term N-limiting resupply. Firstly, differences in the primary metabolism pathways of shoots related to alanine, aspartate and glutamate; starch, sucrose and glycine; serine and threonine; and in secondary metabolites biosynthesis were detected. An integrated analysis between differentially accumulated metabolites and expressed transcripts highlighted a key role of glycine accumulation and the related glyA transcript in the N-use-efficient genotypes to cope with N-limiting stress. Interestingly, a correlation between both sucrose synthase (SUS)-and fructokinase (scrK)-transcript abundances, as well as D-glucose and D-fructose accumulation, appeared useful to distinguish the N-use-efficient genotypes. Furthermore, increased levels of L-aspartate and L-asparagine in the N-use-efficient genotypes at short-term low-N exposure were detected. Granule-bound starch synthase (WAXY) and endoglucanase (E3.2.1.4) downregulation at long-term N stress was observed. Therefore, genes and metabolites related to these pathways could be exploited to improve NUE in eggplant.
GC-MS
Glycoalkaloids
Nitrogen-use efficiency
Primary metabolites
RNA-seq
Solanum melongena L
UPLC-qTOF-MS
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/123742
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