Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

Changes in gene expression profiles under nutrient defeciency - HH3502SFV

Description
The UK horticultural and agricultural industries routinely apply large amounts of inorganic fertiliser-P to maintain crop yields and quality, because chemical assays of soil P are unreliable and assays of plant P content are difficult to interpret. Excessive P applications are both costly and can lead to unnecessary pollution and reduced biodiversity. A possible alternative to chemical assays is to exploit the changes in plant gene expression profiles that occur when P supply is compromised to develop novel sensor technologies based on either 'smart' plants, mRNA profiling or antibody-assays. These assays allow the bioavailability of P to be determined for a specific crop in situ.

Our main objective is to identify genes expressed in shoot tissues that are upregulated rapidly and specifically in response to low P bioavailability. The results will be used (i) to further our basic understanding of plant nutrition and (ii) to develop strategies for commercial applications. Promoters and transcripts of these genes will underpin the development of novel sensor technologies ('smart' plants, mRNA profiling, immunoassays) to reduce fertiliser application, and knowledge of the changes in gene expression profiles that occur when P supply is compromised will improve our understanding of the physiology of P nutrition.

By informing strategies to reduce the use of P-fertilisers, this project meets the overall DEFRA aim of sustainable development. It also meets the DEFRA policy objectives (i) to protect and improve the environment and enhance biodiversity, (ii) to promote a sustainable food supply chain, (iii) to promote sustainable, diverse, modern and adaptable farming and (iv) to promote sustainable management and prudent use of natural resources domestically and internationally. The project is primarily strategic in nature and will deliver a substantial body of scientific information.
Objective
Basic Scientific Objectives
(1) To determine the effects of withdrawal of P, N or K on the mineral content of Arabidopsis shoots
(2) To determine the effects of withdrawal of P, N or K on the growth of Arabidopsis shoots
(3) To determine the effects of withdrawal of P, N or K on gene expression in Arabidopsis shoots

Overall Scientific Objectives
(A) To determine the subset of genes upregulated specifically by P deficiency
(B) To identify the genes within this subset whose expression is increased before critical shoot P concentration and/or reduction in shoot growth occurs
Project Documents
• Final Report : Changes in gene expression profiles under nutrient defeciency   (338k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2001

To: 2002

Cost: £44,624
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Horticulture Research International
Keywords
Biotechnology              
Breeding              
Farming              
Horticulture              
Nutrients              
Vegetables              
Fields of Study
Horticulture
Horticulture