Rice DUR3 mediates high-affinity urea transport and plays an effective role in improvement of urea acquisition and utilization when expressed in Arabidopsis

Authors

  • Wei-Hong Wang,

    1. Department of Plant Nutrition, Key Laboratory of Plant and Soil Interactions of MEoC, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, 100193 Beijing, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Barbara Köhler,

    1. Molecular Biology, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Street 24-25, Haus 20, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Feng-Qiu Cao,

    1. Department of Plant Nutrition, Key Laboratory of Plant and Soil Interactions of MEoC, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, 100193 Beijing, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Guo-Wei Liu,

    1. Department of Plant Nutrition, Key Laboratory of Plant and Soil Interactions of MEoC, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, 100193 Beijing, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Yuan-Yong Gong,

    1. Department of Plant Nutrition, Key Laboratory of Plant and Soil Interactions of MEoC, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, 100193 Beijing, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Song Sheng,

    1. Department of Plant Nutrition, Key Laboratory of Plant and Soil Interactions of MEoC, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, 100193 Beijing, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Qi-Chao Song,

    1. Department of Plant Nutrition, Key Laboratory of Plant and Soil Interactions of MEoC, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, 100193 Beijing, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Xiao-Yuan Cheng,

    1. Department of Plant Nutrition, Key Laboratory of Plant and Soil Interactions of MEoC, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, 100193 Beijing, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Trevor Garnett,

    1. The Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics and the University of Adelaide, PMB1, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Mamoru Okamoto,

    1. The Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics and the University of Adelaide, PMB1, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Rui Qin,

    1. College of Life Sciences, South Central University for Nationalities, 430074 Wuhan, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Bernd Mueller-Roeber,

    1. Molecular Biology, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Street 24-25, Haus 20, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Mark Tester,

    1. The Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics and the University of Adelaide, PMB1, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Lai-Hua Liu

    1. Department of Plant Nutrition, Key Laboratory of Plant and Soil Interactions of MEoC, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, 100193 Beijing, China
    Search for more papers by this author

Author for correspondence:
Lai-Hua Liu
Tel: + 86 10 62734463
Email: LL1025@cau.edu.cn

Summary

  • Despite the great agricultural and ecological importance of efficient use of urea-containing nitrogen fertilizers by crops, molecular and physiological identities of urea transport in higher plants have been investigated only in Arabidopsis.
  • We performed short-time urea-influx assays which have identified a low-affinity and high-affinity (Km of 7.55 μM) transport system for urea-uptake by rice roots (Oryza sativa).
  • A high-affinity urea transporter OsDUR3 from rice was functionally characterized here for the first time among crops. OsDUR3 encodes an integral membrane-protein with 721 amino acid residues and 15 predicted transmembrane domains. Heterologous expression demonstrated that OsDUR3 restored yeast dur3-mutant growth on urea and facilitated urea import with a Km of c. 10 μM in Xenopus oocytes.
  • Quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis revealed upregulation of OsDUR3 in rice roots under nitrogen-deficiency and urea-resupply after nitrogen-starvation. Importantly, overexpression of OsDUR3 complemented the Arabidopsis atdur3-1 mutant, improving growth on low urea and increasing root urea-uptake markedly. Together with its plasma membrane localization detected by green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagging and with findings that disruption of OsDUR3 by T-DNA reduces rice growth on urea and urea uptake, we suggest that OsDUR3 is an active urea transporter that plays a significant role in effective urea acquisition and utilisation in rice.

Ancillary