Cytosolic glutamine synthetase: a target for improvement of crop nitrogen use efficiency?

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Overexpression of the cytosolic enzyme glutamine synthetase 1 (GS1) has been investigated in numerous cases with the goal of improving crop nitrogen use efficiency. However, the outcome has generally been inconsistent. Here, we review possible reasons underlying the lack of success and conclude that GS1 activity may be downregulated via a chain of processes elicited by metabolic imbalances and environmental constraints. We suggest that a pivotal role of GS1 may be related to the maintenance of essential nitrogen (N) flows and internal N sensing during critical stages of plant development. A number of more refined overexpression strategies exploiting gene stacking combined with tissue and cell specific targeting to overcome metabolic bottlenecks are considered along with their potential in relation to new N management strategies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)656-663
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Research areas

  • Glutamine synthetase, Nitrogen, Nitrogen use efficiency (NUE), Overexpression, Regulation

ID: 130099043