Nitrogen Journey in Plants: From Uptake to Metabolism, Stress Response, and Microbe Interaction Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Plants uptake and assimilate nitrogen from the soil in the form of nitrate, ammonium ions, and available amino acids from organic sources. Plant nitrate and ammonium transporters are responsible for nitrate and ammonium translocation from the soil into the roots. The unique structure of these transporters determines the specificity of each transporter, and structural analyses reveal the mechanisms by which these transporters function. Following absorption, the nitrogen metabolism pathway incorporates the nitrogen into organic compounds via glutamine synthetase and glutamate synthase that convert ammonium ions into glutamine and glutamate. Different isoforms of glutamine synthetase and glutamate synthase exist, enabling plants to fine-tune nitrogen metabolism based on environmental cues. Under stressful conditions, nitric oxide has been found to enhance plant survival under drought stress. Furthermore, the interaction between salinity stress and nitrogen availability in plants has been studied, with nitric oxide identified as a potential mediator of responses to salt stress. Conversely, excessive use of nitrate fertilizers can lead to health and environmental issues. Therefore, alternative strategies, such as establishing nitrogen fixation in plants through diazotrophic microbiota, have been explored to reduce reliance on synthetic fertilizers. Ultimately, genomics can identify new genes related to nitrogen fixation, which could be harnessed to improve plant productivity.


  • Zayed, Omar
  • Hewedy, Omar A
  • Abdelmoteleb, Ali
  • Ali, Mohammed
  • Youssef, Mohamed S
  • Roumia, Ahmed F
  • Seymour, Danelle
  • Yuan, Ze-Chun

publication date

  • September 25, 2023