Despite the wide use of urea and ammonium as N-fertilizers, no information is available about the proper ratio useful to maximize the efficiency of their acquisition by crops. Ionomic analyses of maize seedlings fed with five different mixes of urea and ammonium indicated that after 7 days of treatment, the elemental composition of plant tissues was more influenced by ammonium in the nutrient solution than by urea. Within 24 h, similar high affinity influx rates of ammonium were measured in ammonium-treated seedlings, independently from the amount of the cation present in the nutrient solution (from 0.5 to 2.0 mM N), and it was confirmed by the similar accumulation of 15N derived from ammonium source. After 7 days, some changes in ammonium acquisition occurred among treatments, with the highest ammonium uptake efficiency when the urea-to-ammonium ratio was 3:1. Gene expression analyses of enzymes and transporters involved in N nutrition highlight a preferential induction of the cytosolic N-assimilatory pathway (via GS, ASNS) when both urea and ammonium were supplied in conjunction, this response might explain the higher N-acquisition efficiency when both sources are applied. In conclusion, this study provides new insights on plant responses to mixes of N sources that maximize the N-uptake efficiency by crops and thus could allow to adapt agronomic practices in order to limit the economic and environmental impact of N-fertilization.

Characterization of physiological and molecular responses of Zea mays seedlings to different urea-ammonium ratios

Buoso, Sara;Tomasi, Nicola;Pinton, Roberto;Zanin, Laura
2021

Abstract

Despite the wide use of urea and ammonium as N-fertilizers, no information is available about the proper ratio useful to maximize the efficiency of their acquisition by crops. Ionomic analyses of maize seedlings fed with five different mixes of urea and ammonium indicated that after 7 days of treatment, the elemental composition of plant tissues was more influenced by ammonium in the nutrient solution than by urea. Within 24 h, similar high affinity influx rates of ammonium were measured in ammonium-treated seedlings, independently from the amount of the cation present in the nutrient solution (from 0.5 to 2.0 mM N), and it was confirmed by the similar accumulation of 15N derived from ammonium source. After 7 days, some changes in ammonium acquisition occurred among treatments, with the highest ammonium uptake efficiency when the urea-to-ammonium ratio was 3:1. Gene expression analyses of enzymes and transporters involved in N nutrition highlight a preferential induction of the cytosolic N-assimilatory pathway (via GS, ASNS) when both urea and ammonium were supplied in conjunction, this response might explain the higher N-acquisition efficiency when both sources are applied. In conclusion, this study provides new insights on plant responses to mixes of N sources that maximize the N-uptake efficiency by crops and thus could allow to adapt agronomic practices in order to limit the economic and environmental impact of N-fertilization.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/1206644
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