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Research article2019Peer reviewed

Proteolysis and nitrogen: emerging insights

Tornkvist, Anna; Liu, Chen; Moschou, Panagiotis N.


Nitrogen (N) is a core component of fertilizers used in modern agriculture to increase yields and thus to help feed a growing global population. However, this comes at a cost to the environment, through run-off of excess N as a result of poor N-use efficiency (NUE) by crops. An obvious remedy to this problem would therefore be the improvement of NUE, which requires advancing our understanding on N homeostasis, sensing, and uptake. Proteolytic pathways are linked to N homeostasis as they recycle proteins that contain N and carbon; however, emerging data suggest that their functions extend beyond this simple recycling. Here, we highlight roles of proteolytic pathways in non-symbiotic and symbiotic N uptake and in systemic N sensing. We also offer a novel view in which we suggest that proteolytic pathways have roles in N homeostasis that differ from their accepted function in recycling.


Autophagy; neddylation; nitrogen; proteases; proteasome; sumoylation

Published in

Journal of Experimental Botany
2019, Volume: 70, number: 7, pages: 2009-2019

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      • Sustainable Development Goals

        SDG12 Responsible consumption and production

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