Nitrogen deficiency and senescence in Arabidopsis and oilseed rape: Transcriptome response and the role of nitrate transporters

Among the major field crops oilseed rape has a particularly low nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). For improving the NUE of oilseed rape it is important to advance the understanding of N-remobilization and -allocation mechanisms, to select genotypes with high NUE and to sensitively diagnose the N status of the plants. We work on two topics towards this goal: 1) We aim to identify gene expression biomarkers that indicate early stages of N deficiency and senescence before phenotypic symptoms are visible. By transcriptome analysis of N deficiency-stressed plants we have identified hundreds of biomarker candidates in the first funding period. The reliability and robustness of the candidates for N deficiency and senescence initiation prognosis is currently validated. 2) The results of the first funding period suggest that in Arabidopsis nitrate transporters are involved in signaling the N status between leaves and roots and in executing the plants' responses to N deficiency. By overexpressing NRT proteins in Arabidopsis and oilseed rape we want to investigate whether NUE can be improved.


Insitute of BiologyFU Berlin
Free University of Berlin, Germany


Prof. Dr. Reinhard Kunze
Dr. Christine Rausch
Vajiheh Safavi
Navina Drechsler


Individual homepage