Proanthocyanidin oxidation of Arabidopsis seeds is altered in mutant of the high-affinity nitrate transporter NRT2.7

J Exp Bot. 2014 Mar;65(3):885-93. doi: 10.1093/jxb/ert481.


NRT2.7 is a seed-specific high-affinity nitrate transporter controlling nitrate content in Arabidopsis mature seeds. The objective of this work was to analyse further the consequences of the nrt2.7 mutation for the seed metabolism. This work describes a new phenotype for the nrt2.7-2 mutant allele in the Wassilewskija accession, which exhibited a distinctive pale-brown seed coat that is usually associated with a defect in flavonoid oxidation. Indeed, this phenotype resembled those of tt10 mutant seeds defective in the laccase-like enzyme TT10/LAC15, which is involved in the oxidative polymerization of flavonoids such as the proantocyanidins (PAs) (i.e. epicatechin monomers and PA oligomers) and flavonol glycosides. nrt2.7-2 and tt10-2 mutant seeds displayed the same higher accumulation of PAs, but were partially distinct, since flavonol glycoside accumulation was not affected in the nrt2.7-2 seeds. Moreover, measurement of in situ laccase activity excluded a possibility of the nrt2.7-2 mutation affecting the TT10 enzymic activity at the early stage of seed development. Functional complementation of the nrt2.7-2 mutant by overexpression of a full-length NRT2.7 cDNA clearly demonstrated the link between the nrt2.7 mutation and the PA phenotype. However, the PA-related phenotype of nrt2.7-2 seeds was not strictly correlated to the nitrate content of seeds. No correlation was observed when nitrate was lowered in seeds due to limited nitrate nutrition of plants or to lower nitrate storage capacity in leaves of clca mutants deficient in the vacuolar anionic channel CLCa. All together, the results highlight a hitherto-unknown function of NRT2.7 in PA accumulation/oxidation.

Keywords: Flavonoids; NRT2.7; TT1.0.; laccase; nitrate; proanthocyanidins; seeds; transporter.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Anion Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Anion Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Color
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Flavonoids / metabolism
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Homozygote
  • Laccase / genetics
  • Laccase / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Nitrates / analysis
  • Nitrates / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phenotype
  • Proanthocyanidins / metabolism*
  • Seeds / genetics
  • Seeds / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Anion Transport Proteins
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Flavonoids
  • NRT2.7 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Nitrates
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • proanthocyanidin
  • Laccase
  • TT10 protein, Arabidopsis