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Functional characterization of gene encoding ammonium transporter ScAMT3.3 in sugarcane (Saccharum spp.)

Grant number: 17/00460-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2017
Effective date (End): February 28, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Plant Genetics
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Antonio Vargas de Oliveira Figueira
Grantee:Rodolfo Augusto Maniero
Home Institution: Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil

Abstract

In the growing world demand for clean energy, sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) represents an important crop for low-cost renewable energy generation with low environmental impact. To meet this demand, the use of nitrogen-based fertilization is essential to maintain productivity levels. However, the sugarcane crop presents a low response to the application of nitrogen (N) fertilizers, contributing to environmental pollution and consequent negative impacts on the economic balance for this crop. Ammonium (NH4+) is the preferred source of N absorbed by sugarcane, but the comprehension about the regulation of the transport and distribution of ammonium in this species remains limited. Ammonium transport in plants is mediated by the family of genes known as AMMONIUM TRANSPORTER (AMT), but the effect of the functionality of these transporters on the N efficiency use (NUE) in sugarcane requires elucidation. Previous studies using BAC (Bacterial Artificial Chromosome) libraries of sugarcane have identified members in the subfamily AMT2 presenting expression in different organs in this species. The understanding of the function of these genes in the plant ammonium transport regulation is relevant to improve the response to the application of nitrogen fertilizers. This project aims to perform a functional characterization of the ScAMT3.3 gene from the AMMONIUM TRANSPORTERS2 (AMT2) subfamily of sugarcane in heterologous systems using yeast mutants (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and Arabidopsis thaliana, defective in ammonium transport. The results will reveal the function and molecular characteristics of this gene in the control of ammonium homeostasis in sugarcane. (AU)