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Keywords:

  • Equilibrative nucleoside transporter;
  • nitrogen;
  • purine;
  • pyrimidine;
  • salvage pathway;
  • transcriptome

Abstract

The metabolism of nitrogen-rich nucleosides in Arabidopsis seedlings was investigated at the level of import and subsequent salvage or degradation. Uptake and fate of nucleosides imported by equilibrative nucleoside transporter 3 (ENT3) was analysed and, furthermore, a comprehensive analysis of the effect of exogenously fed nucleosides at the level of metabolic as well as transcriptomic alterations was performed. Expression of nucleoside transporters ENT1 and ENT3, together with nucleoside import, was increased upon nitrogen limitation. Thereby a role for ENT3, which is expressed mainly in the vasculature of roots and leaves, as a major import route for nucleosides was supported. Exogenously fed nucleosides were able to attenuate nitrogen starvation effects such as chlorophyll breakdown, anthocyanin accumulation, RNA breakdown and reduced levels of amino acids. In response to nucleoside supply, up-regulation of genes involved in nitrogen distribution in plants was observed. In addition, genes involved in nucleoside metabolism were identified as regulated upon nitrogen limitation. In summary, an overall beneficial effect of nucleoside supply to Arabidopsis seedlings, especially under limiting nitrogen conditions, was observed.