J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2006, Vol. 48 ›› Issue (8): -.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2006.00313.x

• Research Articles •    

Putative Nitrogen Sensing Systems in Higher Plants

Hon-Ming Lam, Ying Ann Chiao, Man-Wah Li, Yuk-Kwong Yung and Sang Ji   

Abstract: Nitrogen (N) metabolism is essential for the biosynthesis of vital biomolecules. N status thus exerts profound effects on plant growth and development, and must be closely monitored. In bacteria and fungi, a few sophisticated N sensing systems have been extensively studied. In animals, the ability to receive amino acid signals has evolved to become an integral part of the nervous coordination system. In this review, we will summarize recent developments in the search for putative N sensing systems in higher plants based on homologous systems in bacteria, fungi, and animals. Apparently, although plants have separated and diversified from other organisms during the evolution process, striking similarities can be found in their N sensing systems compared with those of their counterparts; however, our understanding of these systems is still incomplete. Significant modifications of the N sensing systems (including cross-talk with other signal transduction pathways) in higher plants may be a strategy of adaptation to their unique mode of life.(Author for correspondence.Tel(Fax): +852 2609 6336; E-mail:honming@cuhk.edu.hk)

Key words: general amino acid control, glutamate receptors, His-Asp phosphorelay, nitrogen metabolism, nitrogen sensing, PII, signal transduction.

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