Molecular physiology reveals ammonium uptake and related gene expression in the seagrass Zostera muelleri

Pernice, Mathieu, Sinutok, Sutinee, Sablok, Gaurav, Commault, Audrey S., Schliep, Martin, Macreadie, Peter I., Rasheed, Michael A., and Ralph, Peter J. (2016) Molecular physiology reveals ammonium uptake and related gene expression in the seagrass Zostera muelleri. Marine Environmental Research, 122. pp. 126-134.

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Seagrasses are important marine foundation species, which are presently threatened by coastal development and global change worldwide. The molecular mechanisms that drive seagrass responses to anthropogenic stresses, including elevated levels of nutrients such as ammonium, remains poorly understood. Despite the evidence that seagrasses can assimilate ammonium by using glutamine synthetase (GS)/glutamate synthase (glutamine-oxoglutarate amidotransferase or GOGAT) cycle, the regulation of this fundamental metabolic pathway has never been studied at the gene expression level in seagrasses so far. Here, we combine (i) reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) to measure expression of key genes involved in the GS/GOGAT cycle, and (ii) stable isotope labelling and mass spectrometry to investigate N-15-ammonium assimilation in the widespread Australian species Zostera muelleri subsp. capricorni (Z. muelleri). We demonstrate that exposure to a pulse of ammonium in seawater can induce changes in GS gene expression of Z muelleri, and further correlate these changes in gene expression with N-15-ammonium uptake rate in above-and below-ground tissue.

Item ID: 47245
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-0291
Keywords: seagrass, molecular physiology, isotope, nutrients, nitrogen, RT-qPCR
Funders: Gladstone Ports Corporation, Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Linkage Grant LP11020045, ARC DECRA Fellowship DE130101084
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2017 07:38
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310303 Ecological physiology @ 40%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 20%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3105 Genetics > 310505 Gene expression (incl. microarray and other genome-wide approaches) @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 100%
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