Enhanced anthocyanin accumulation confers increased growth performance in plants under low nitrate and high salt stress conditions owing to active modulation of nitrate metabolism

Hai An Truong, Won Je Lee, Chan Young Jeong, Cao Sơn Trịnh, Seokjin Lee, Chon Sik Kang, Young Keun Cheong, Suk Whan Hong, Hojoung Lee

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Plants require nitrogen (N) for growth and development. However, they are frequently exposed to conditions of nitrogen deficiency. In addition, anthocyanin accumulation is induced under salt stress and nitrate deficiency. To date, most studies have revealed that nitrate deficiency under high sucrose levels induce high levels of anthocyanin accumulation in plants. However, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Under nitrate-starved conditions, plant growth rapidly worsens and cells eventually die. In addition, plants are severely affected by salt exposure. Therefore, in this study, we determined whether increased levels of anthocyanin could improve plant growth under salt stress and nitrate-starved conditions. We used PAP1-D/fls1ko and ttg1 plants which have a perturbed anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway to explore the role of anthocyanin in plant adaptation to nitrate-deficient conditions and salt stress. Our results demonstrate that high anthocyanin accumulation in PAP1-D/fls1ko plants confers enhanced tolerance to nitrate-deficient conditions combined with high salinity. PAP1-D/fls1ko plants appeared to use absorbed nitrate efficiently during the nitrate reduction process. In addition, nitrate-related genes such as NRT1.1, NiA1 and NiA2 were upregulated in the PAP1-D/fls1ko plants. On the basis of these findings, it can be concluded that high anthocyanin accumulation helps plants to cope with salt stress under nitrate-deficient conditions via the effective utilization of nitrate metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-48
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Plant Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 1



  • Anthocyanin
  • Low nitrogen
  • PAP1-D/fls1ko
  • Salinity
  • ttg1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

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