Identification and characterization of two ammonium transporter genes in flowering Chinese cabbage (Brassica campestris)
- Plant Biotechnology
- Ammonium transporters (AMTs), which include AMT1 and AMT2 subfamilies, have been identified and partially characterized in many plants. In this study, two AMT2-type genes from Brassica campestris, namely BcAMT2 and BcAMT2like, were identified and characterized. BcAMT2 and BcAMT2like are 2666 bp and 2952 bp, encode proteins of 490 and 489 amino acids, respectively, and contain five exons and four introns. Transient expression of these proteins labelled with green fluorescence protein in onion epidermal cells indicated that both are located on the plasma membrane. When expressing BcAMT2 or BcAMT2like, the mutant yeast strain 31019b could grow on medium containing 2mM ammonium as the only nitrogen source when expressing BcAMT2 or BcAMT2like, indicating that both are functional AMT genes. Quantitative PCR results showed that BcAMT2 and BcAMT2like were expressed in all tissues, but they displayed different expression patterns in the reproductive stages. BcAMT2s transcript levels in leaves were positively correlated with ammonium concentration and external pH. Moreover, the expression BcAMT2s responded to diurnal change. Furthermore, the uncharged form of ammonium, i.e., ammonia, might also be transported by BcAMT2s. These results provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying ammonium absorption and transportation by the AMT2 subfamily in B. campestris.