Nitrogen signalling in Arabidopsis: how to obtain insights into a complex signalling network

J Exp Bot. 2011 Feb;62(4):1391-7. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erq375. Epub 2010 Nov 30.


It is well known that nitrogen (N) and N status can be sensed by plants to regulate their development, physiology, and metabolism. Based on approaches efficiently used for fungi and algae, plant researchers have been trying, but with little success, to elucidate higher plants N signalling for several years. Recently, the use of new strategies such as transcriptomics, comparative reverse genetics, and new forward genetic screens have unravelled some players within the complex plant N signalling network. This review will mainly focus on these recent advances in the molecular knowledge of N sensing in plants such as the dual function of the nitrate transporter CHL1, the roles of the transcription factors LBD37/38/39 and NLP7 or of the CIPK8/23 kinases, as well as the implication of small RNAs, which are at last opening doors for future research in this field.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / physiology
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Models, Biological
  • Nitrogen / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Nitrogen