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WRKY33 MODULATES THE RESPONSES TO LOW NITROGEN SUPPLY OF CONTRASTING N-USE EFFICIENT EGGPLANTS
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  • Antonio Mauceri,
  • MARIA ROSA ABENAVOLI,
  • Laura ToppinoOrcid,
  • Sayantan Panda,
  • Francesco Mercati,
  • Meriem Aci,
  • Asaph Aharoni,
  • FRANCESCO SUNSERI,
  • Giuseppe Rotino,
  • Antonio Lupini
Antonio Mauceri
Università degli Studi Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria
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MARIA ROSA ABENAVOLI
Università degli Studi Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria
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Laura Toppino
Orcid
Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economia agraria
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Sayantan Panda
Weizmann Institute of Science
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Francesco Mercati
National Research Council
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Meriem Aci
Università degli Studi Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria
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Asaph Aharoni
Weizmann Institute of Science
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FRANCESCO SUNSERI
Università degli Studi Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria
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Giuseppe Rotino
Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economia agraria
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Antonio Lupini
Università degli Studi Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria
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Peer review status:POSTED

03 Jul 2020Submitted to Plant, Cell & Environment
03 Jul 2020Assigned to Editor
03 Jul 2020Submission Checks Completed

Abstract

Nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is an important and complex crops trait and its improvement represents a strategy to maintain high yield reducing N-supply. We report the genome-wide transcriptomic analysis of four eggplants contrasting for NUE to identify key genes related to the NUE pathway, after short- and long-term low-N exposure, in both root and shoot. Co-expression Gene Networks (CGN) analysis permitted to identify up-regulated differential expressed genes (DEGs) involved in the light reaction pathway, the biological processes response to inorganic substance, abiotic stimulus and cellular response to nitrogen starvation in high NUE genotypes. Some transcription factor (TF) were up-regulated in the N-use efficient genotypes, in particular, WRKY33 showed a significant up-regulation triggering the higher expression of 21 genes cluster including other TFs, many of which associated to N-metabolism. To validate our results, an independent de novo experiment including two other NUE-contrasting genotypes, at both low and high N supply, was carried out. Interestingly, the high significant WRKY33 expression and its cluster were confirmed in the high NUE genotypes at low-N supply. Moreover, the WRKY33 role was confirmed in Arabidopsis as the 35S::AtWRKY33 over expressing line showed a more competitive root system able to uptake more efficiently N from the soil.