Table_1_Impacts of Nitrogen Deficiency on Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Grain During the Medium Filling Stage: Transcriptomic and Metabolomic Compariso.XLSX (5.5 MB)
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Table_1_Impacts of Nitrogen Deficiency on Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Grain During the Medium Filling Stage: Transcriptomic and Metabolomic Comparisons.XLSX

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posted on 04.08.2021, 04:49 by Yanjie Wang, Demei Wang, Zhiqiang Tao, Yushuang Yang, Zhenxian Gao, Guangcai Zhao, Xuhong Chang

Nitrogen (N) supplementation is essential to the yield and quality of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). The impact of N-deficiency on wheat at the seedling stage has been previously reported, but the impact of distinct N regimes applied at the seedling stage with continuous application on filling and maturing wheat grains is lesser known, despite the filling stage being critical for final grain yield and flour quality. Here, we compared phenotype characteristics such as grain yield, grain protein and sugar quality, plant growth, leaf photosynthesis of wheat under N-deficient and N-sufficient conditions imposed prior to sowing (120 kg/hm2) and in the jointing stage (120 kg/hm2), and then evaluated the effects of this continued stress through RNA-seq and GC-MS metabolomics profiling of grain at the mid-filling stage. The results showed that except for an increase in grain size and weight, and in the content of total sugar, starch, and fiber in bran fraction and white flour, the other metrics were all decreased under N-deficiency conditions. A total of 761 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and 77 differentially accumulated metabolites (DAMs) were identified. Under N-deficiency, 51 down-regulated DEGs were involved in the process of impeding chlorophyll synthesis, chloroplast development, light harvesting, and electron transfer functions of photosystem, which resulted in the SPAD and Pn value decreased by 32 and 15.2% compared with N-sufficiency, inhibited photosynthesis. Twenty-four DEGs implicated the inhibition of amino acids synthesis and protein transport, in agreement with a 17–42% reduction in ornithine, cysteine, aspartate, and tyrosine from metabolome, and an 18.6% reduction in grain protein content. However, 14 DEGs were implicated in promoting sugar accumulation in the cell wall and another six DEGs also enhanced cell wall synthesis, which significantly increased fiber content in the endosperm and likely contributed to increasing the thousands-grain weight (TGW). Moreover, RNA-seq profiling suggested that wheat grain can improve the capacity of DNA repair, iron uptake, disease and abiotic stress resistance, and oxidative stress scavenging through increasing the content levels of anthocyanin, flavonoid, GABA, galactose, and glucose under N-deficiency condition. This study identified candidate genes and metabolites related to low N adaption and tolerance that may provide new insights into a comprehensive understanding of the genotype-specific differences in performance under N-deficiency conditions.

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