Morpho-agronomical and physiological response of cotton seedlings to low nitrogen supply

Paper Details

Research Paper 01/07/2019
Views (264) Download (12)

Morpho-agronomical and physiological response of cotton seedlings to low nitrogen supply

Asif Iqbal, Wang Zhun, Dong Qiang, Niu Jing, Hui-Ping Gui, Xiang-Ru Wang, Zhang Heng-Heng, Nian-Chang Pang, Meizhen Song
Int. J. Biosci.15( 1), 487-499, July 2019.
Certificate: IJB 2019 [Generate Certificate]


Among the crop production factors, nitrogen is the most important limiting factor of crop production. The relationship between photosynthesis and nitrogen nutrition has been widely studied in different crops. However, in cotton leaf photosynthetic traits and nitrogen use efficiency are less clear at the seedling stage. It was found that low nitrogen supply significantly reduced cotton growth, photosynthesis, nitrogen content and ultimately the nitrogen use efficiency except root morphological traits. Correspondingly, all the parameters related to gaseous exchange were very sensitive to nitrogen deficiency and therefore reduced. However, the intercellular CO2 concentration and nitrogen efficiency ratio were increased under low N supply. These results suggest the possibility of utilizing these traits as indicators for optimum nitrogen fertilization and development of nitrogen efficient genotypes. Further, this could lead to the development of sustainable agriculture for better crop productivity and profitability as well as environmental protection.


Abdel-Ghani AH, Kumar B, Reyes-Matamoros J, Gonzalez-Portilla PJ, Jansen C. 2013. Genotypic variation and relationships between seedling and adult plant traits in maize (Zea mays L.) inbred lines grown under contrasting nitrogen levels. Euphytica 189(1), 123-133.

Anbessa Y, Juskiw P, Good Z, Nyachiro J, Helm J. 2009. Genetic variability in nitrogen use efficiency of spring barley. Crop Science 49(4), 1259-1269.

Arnon DI. 1949. Copper enzymes in isolated chloroplasts. Polyphenoloxidase in Beta vulgaris. Plant Physiology 24(1), 1.

Barraclough PB, Howarth JR, Jones J, Lopez-Bellido R, Parmar S. Nitrogen efficiency of wheat: genotypic and environmental variation and prospects for improvement. Europian Journal of Agronomy 33(1), 1-11.

Beatty PH, Good AG. 2018. Improving Nitrogen Use Efficient in Crop Plants Using Biotechnology Approaches. Engineering Nitrogen Utilization in Crop Plants. Springer. p. 15-35

Bondada BR, Oosterhuis DM. 2001. Canopy photosynthesis, specific leaf weight, and yield components of cotton under varying nitrogen supply. Journal of Plant Nutrtion 24(3), 469-477.

Bondada BR, Syvertsen JP. 2003. Leaf chlorophyll, net gas exchange and chloroplast ultrastructure in citrus leaves of different nitrogen status. Tree Physiology 23(8), 553-559.

Bungard RA, McNeil D, Morton JD. 1997. Effects of nitrogen on the photosynthetic apparatus of Clematis vitalba grown at several irradiances. Functional Plant Biology 24(2), 205-214.

Chen Q, Mu X, Chen F, Yuan L, Mi G. 2016. Dynamic change of mineral nutrient content in different plant organs during the grain filling stage in maize grown under contrasting nitrogen supply. Europian Journal of Agronomy 80, 137-153.

Ciompi S, Gentili E, Guidi L, Soldatini GF. 1996. The effect of nitrogen deficiency on leaf gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters in sunflower. Plant Science 118(2), 177-184.

Cooke JEK, Brown KA, Wu R, Davis JM. 2003. Gene expression associated with N‐induced shifts in resource allocation in poplar. Plant Cell and Environment 26(5), 757-770.

Dawson JC, Huggins DR, Jones SS. 2008. Characterizing nitrogen use efficiency in natural and agricultural ecosystems to improve the performance of cereal crops in low-input and organic agricultural systems. Field Crops Research 107(2), 89-101.

Ding WX, Chen ZM, Yu HY, Luo JF, Yoo GY. 2015. Nitrous oxide emission and nitrogen use efficiency in response to nitrophosphate, N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide and dicyandiamide of a wheat cultivated soil under sub-humid monsoon conditions. Biogeosciences 12(3), 803-815.

Duan YH, Zhang YL, Ye LT, Fan XT, Xu GH. 2007. Responses of rice cultivars with different nitrogen use efficiency to partial nitrate nutrition. Annals of Botany 99(6), 1153-1160.

Eghball B, Maranville JW. 1993. Root development and nitrogen influx of corn genotypes grown under combined drought and nitrogen stresses. Agronomy Journal 85(1), 147-152.

Elliot CC, Laüchli A. 1985. P efficiency and phosphate–iron interactions in maize. Journal of Agronmy 77, 399-403.

Eltelib HAM. 2004. Effect of time of nitrogen application on growth, yield and quality of four forage sorghum cultivars. Thesis, Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture University of Khartoum.

Evans JR. 2013. Improving photosynthesis. Plant Physiology 162(4), 1780-1793.

Evans JR, Terashima I. 1988. Photosynthetic characteristics of spinach leaves grown with different nitrogen treatments. Plant Cell Physiology 29(1), 157-165.

Gabelman WH, Gerloff GC. 1983. The search for and interpretation of genetic controls that enhance plant growth under deficiency levels of a macronutrient. Genetic Aspects of Plant Nutrition. Springer p. 379-394

Ghannoum O, Evans JR, Chow WS, Andrews TJ, Conroy JP. Faster Rubisco is the key to superior nitrogen-use efficiency in NADP-malic enzyme relative to NAD-malic enzyme C4 grasses. Plant Physiology 137(2), 638-650.

Glass ADM. 2003. Nitrogen use efficiency of crop plants: physiological constraints upon nitrogen absorption. CRC. Critical Review of Plant Science 22(5), 453-470.

Good AG, Beatty PH. 2011. Fertilizing nature: a tragedy of excess in the commons. PLoS Biology 9(8), e1001124.

Good AG, Shrawat AK, Muench DG. 2004. Can less yield more? Is reducing nutrient input into the environment compatible with maintaining crop production? Trends in Plant Science 9(12), 597-605.

Goron TL, Bhosekar VK, Shearer CR, Watts S, Raizada MN. 2015. Whole plant acclimation responses by finger millet to low nitrogen stress. Frontier in Plant Science 6, 652.

Hakeem KR, Ahmad A, Iqbal M, Gucel S, Ozturk M. 2011. Nitrogen-efficient rice cultivars can reduce nitrate pollution. Environtal Science and Pollution Research 18(7), 1184-1193.

Hermans C, Hammond JP, White PJ, Verbruggen N. 2006. How do plants respond to nutrient shortage by biomass allocation? Trends in Plant Science 11(12), 610-617.

Huang ZA, Jiang DA, Yang Y, Sun JW, Jin SH. 2004. Effects of nitrogen deficiency on gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, and antioxidant enzymes in leaves of rice plants. Photosynthetica 42(3), 357-364.

Ikram S, Bedu M, Daniel-Vedele F, Chaillou S, Chardon F. 2011. Natural variation of Arabidopsis response to nitrogen availability. Journal of Experimental Botany 63(1), 91-105.

Illman AM, Scragg AH, Shales SW. 2000. Increase in Chlorella strains calorific values when grown in low nitrogen medium. Enzyme Microbiology and Technology 27(8), 631-635.

Iqbal J, Mitchell DC, Barker DW, Miguez F, Sawyer JE. 2015. Does nitrogen fertilizer application rate to corn affect nitrous oxide emissions from the rotated soybean crop? Journal of Environmental Quality 44(3), 711-719.

Jones DL, Clode PL, Kilburn MR, Stockdale MA, Murphy DV. 2013. Competition between plant and bacterial cells at the microscale regulates the dynamics of nitrogen acquisition in wheat (Triticum aestivum). New Phytologiest 200(3), 796-807.

Kant S, Bi YM, Rothstein SJ. 2010. Understanding plant response to nitrogen limitation for the improvement of crop nitrogen use efficiency. Journal of Experimental Botany 62(4), 1499-1509.

Kessel B, Schierholt A, Becker HC. 2012. Nitrogen use efficiency in a genetically diverse set of winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.). Crop Science 52(6), 2546-2554.

Lawlor DW. 2002. Carbon and nitrogen assimilation in relation to yield: mechanisms are the key to understanding production systems. Journal of Experimental Botany 53(370), 773-787.

Lemaître T, Gaufichon L, Boutet-Mercey S, Christ A, Masclaux-Daubresse C. 2008. Enzymatic and metabolic diagnostic of nitrogen deficiency in Arabidopsis thaliana Wassileskija accession. Plant Cell and Physiology 49(7), 1056-1065.

Li D, Tian M, Cai J, Jiang D, Cao W. 2013. Effects of low nitrogen supply on relationships between photosynthesis and nitrogen status at different leaf position in wheat seedlings. Plant Growth Regulation 70(3), 257-263.

Li H, Li, Luo M, Cao J, Qu X, Gai L, Jiang Y, Liu X, Bai T, Janz H, Polle D, Peng D, Luo C. 2012. N-fertilization has different effects on the growth, carbon and nitrogen physiology, and wood properties of slow- and fast-growing Populus species. Journal of Experimental Botany 63, 6173-6185.

Li B, Xin W, Sun S, Shen Q, Xu G. 2006. Physiological and molecular responses of nitrogen-starved rice plants to re-supply of different nitrogen sources. Plant and Soil 287(1-2), 145-159.

Makino A. 2011. Photosynthesis, grain yield, and nitrogen utilization in rice and wheat. Plant Physiology 155(1), 125-129.

Makino A, Osmond B. 1991. Effects of nitrogen nutrition on nitrogen partitioning between chloroplasts and mitochondria in pea and wheat. Plant Physiology 96(2), 355-362.

Markelz RJC, Strellner RS, Leakey ADB. 2011. Impairment of C4 photosynthesis by drought is exacerbated by limiting nitrogen and ameliorated by elevated [CO2] in maize. Journal of Experimental Botany 62(9), 3235-3246.

Masclaux-Daubresse C, Daniel-Vedele F, Dechorgnat J, Chardon F, Gaufichon L. 2010. Nitrogen uptake, assimilation and remobilization in plants: challenges for sustainable and productive agriculture. Annals of Botany 105(7), 1141-1157.

Mattson Jr WJ. 1980. Herbivory in relation to plant nitrogen content. Annual Review of Ecological System 11(1), 119-161.

Miao Y, Stewart BA, Zhang F. 2011. Long-term experiments for sustainable nutrient management in China. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Devlopment 31(2), 397-414.

Mu X, Chen Q, Chen F, Yuan L, Mi G. 2016. Within-leaf nitrogen allocation in adaptation to low nitrogen supply in maize during grain-filling stage. Frontier in Plant Science 7, 699.

North KA, Ehlting B, Koprivova A, Rennenberg H, Kopriva S. 2009. Natural variation in Arabidopsis adaptation to growth at low nitrogen conditions. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 47(10), 912-918.

Ort DR, Merchant SS, Alric J, Barkan A, Blankenship RE. 2015. Redesigning photosynthesis to sustainably meet global food and bioenergy demand. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112(28), 8529-8536.

Pandey RK, Maranville JW, Admou A. 2000. Deficit irrigation and nitrogen effects on maize in a Sahelian environment: I. Grain yield and yield components. Agriculture water Managment 46(1), 1-13.

Pinto H, Sharwood RE, Tissue DT, Ghannoum O. 2014. Photosynthesis of C3, C3–C4, and C4 grasses at glacial CO2. Journal of Experimental Botany 65(13), 3669-3681.

Poorter H, Evans JR. 1998. Photosynthetic nitrogen-use efficiency of species that differ inherently in specific leaf area. Oecologia 116(1-2), 26-37.

Qiao J, Yang L, Yan T, Xue F, Zhao D. 2012. Nitrogen fertilizer reduction in rice production for two consecutive years in the Taihu Lake area. Agriculture Ecosystem and Environment 146(1), 103-112.

Raun WR, Johnson JV. 1999. Improving nitrogen use efficiency for cereal production. Agronomy Journal 91(3), 357-363.

Sakakibara H, Takei K, Hirose N. 2006. Interactions between nitrogen and cytokinin in the regulation of metabolism and development. Trends in Plant Sciences 11(9), 440-448.

Sarasketa A, González-Moro MB, González-Murua C, Marino D. 2014. Exploring ammonium tolerance in a large panel of Arabidopsis thaliana natural accessions. Journal of Experimental Botany 65(20), 6023-6033.

Sebilo M, Mayer B, Nicolardot B, Pinay G, Mariotti A. 2013. Long-term fate of nitrate fertilizer in agricultural soils. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110(45), 18185-18189.

Siddiqi MY, Glass ADM. 1981. Utilization index: a modified approach to the estimation and comparison of nutrient utilization efficiency in plants. Journal of Plant Nutrition 4(3), 289-302.

Smith CW, Cothren JT. 1999. Cotton: origin, history, technology, and production. John Wiley & Sons.

Sylvester-Bradley R, Kindred DR. 2009. Analysing nitrogen responses of cereals to prioritize routes to the improvement of nitrogen use efficiency. Journal of Experimental Botany 60(7), 1939-1951.

Uribelarrea M, Crafts-Brandner SJ, Below FE. 2009. Physiological N response of field-grown maize hybrids (Zea mays L.) with divergent yield potential and grain protein concentration. Plant and Soil 316(1-2), 151.

Vidal EA, Álvarez JM, Moyano TC, Gutiérrez RA. 2015. Transcriptional networks in the nitrate response of Arabidopsis thaliana. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 27, 125-132.

Wadleigh CH. 1944. Growth status of the cotton plant as influenced by the supply of nitrogen. Ark. Agr. Expt. Sta. Bul 446, 138.

Wang YY, Tsay YF. 2011. Arabidopsis nitrate transporter NRT1. 9 is important in phloem nitrate transport. Plant Cell: tpc-111.

Xu G, Fan X, Miller AJ. 2012. Plant nitrogen assimilation and use efficiency. Annual Review of Plant Biology 63, 153-182.

Yang S, Wu J, Ziegler T, Yang X, Zayed A. 2011. Gene expression biomarkers provide sensitive indicators of in planta nitrogen status in maize. Plant Physiology pp-111.

Zhang F, Chen X, Vitousek P. 2013. Chinese agriculture: An experiment for the world. Nature 497(7447), 33.

Zhao D, Reddy KR, Kakani VG, Reddy VR. 2005. Nitrogen deficiency effects on plant growth, leaf photosynthesis, and hyperspectral reflectance properties of sorghum. Europian Journal of Agronmy 22(4), 391-403.

Ziadi N, Brassard M, Bélanger G, Claessens A, Tremblay N. 2008. Chlorophyll measurements and nitrogen nutrition index for the evaluation of corn nitrogen status. Agronmy Journal 100(5), 1264-1273.