Table_1_Omeprazole Treatment Enhances Nitrogen Use Efficiency Through Increased Nitrogen Uptake and Assimilation in Corn.docx

Omeprazole is a selective proton pump inhibitor in humans that inhibits the H+/K+-ATPase of gastric parietal cells. Omeprazole has been recently shown to act as a plant growth regulator and enhancer of salt stress tolerance. Here, we report that omeprazole treatment in hydroponically grown maize improves nitrogen uptake and assimilation. The presence of micromolar concentrations of omeprazole in the nutrient solution alleviates the chlorosis and growth inhibition induced by low nitrogen availability. Nitrate uptake and assimilation is enhanced in omeprazole treated plants through changes in nitrate reductase activity, primary metabolism, and gene expression. Omeprazole enhances nitrate assimilation through an interaction with nitrate reductase, altering its activation state and affinity for nitrate as a substrate. Omeprazole and its targets represent a novel method for enhancing nitrogen use efficiency in plants.