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Crop Biotech Update

Overexpression of OsNRT2.3b Improves Phosphorus Uptake and Translocation in Rice

August 9, 2017

Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are two essential macronutrients for plants. A team of researchers from Nanjing Agricultural University, headed by Huimin Feng, hypothesized that overexpression of the rice nitrate transporter, OsNRT2.3b, can improve rice grain yield and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE).

Overexpression of OsNRT2.3b significantly increased P uptake compared with wild types. The overexpression also resulted in increased rice grain and straw yields. Increased P concentrations in rice leaves and unfilled rice hulls were also observed in these lines. Furthermore, the overexpressing lines also showed enhanced root biomass and root surface area as well as N and P accumulation. Analysis revealed that expression levels of genes related to phosphorus uptake and translocation, OsPT2, OsPT8, and OsPHR2, were upregulated in the shoots and roots of the overexpressing rice.

These results indicate that OsNRT2.3b overexpression can improve rice P uptake and accumulation by advancing the root system and enhancing gene expression of P uptake genes.

For more information on this promising study, read the article in Plant Cell Reports.