The primary nitrate response: a multifaceted signalling pathway

J Exp Bot. 2014 Oct;65(19):5567-76. doi: 10.1093/jxb/eru245. Epub 2014 Jun 18.


Nitrate (NO3(-)) application strongly affects gene expression in plants. This regulation is thought to be crucial for their adaptation in response to a changing nutritional environment. Depending on the conditions preceding or concomitant with nitrate provision, the treatment can affect up to a 10th of genome expression in Arabidopsis thaliana. The early events occurring after NO3(-) provision are often called the Primary Nitrate Response (PNR). Despite this simple definition, PNR is a complex process that is difficult to properly delineate. Here we report the different concepts related to PNR, review the different molecular components known to control it, and show, using meta-analysis, that this concept/pathway is not monolithic. We especially bring our attention to the genome-wide effects of LBD37 and LBD38 overexpression, NLP7, and CHL1/NRT1.1 mutations.

Keywords: CHL1/NRT1.1 mutations; LBD37/38; NLP7; Primary Nitrate Response (PNR).; nitrate (NO3–); nutritional environment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anion Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Anion Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / physiology*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Mutation
  • Nitrates / metabolism*
  • Nitrogen / metabolism*
  • Plant Roots / genetics
  • Plant Roots / physiology
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Anion Transport Proteins
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Nitrates
  • Nitrogen