Effects of Nitrate and Cytokinin on Nitrogen Metabolism and Heat Stress Tolerance of Creeping Bentgrass
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Creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) is a major low-cut cool-season turfgrass used worldwide. The objectives of this research were to: 1) to gain insight into the diurnal fluctuation of N metabolism and effects of cytokinin (CK) and nitrate; 2) to characterize the impacts of N and CK on creeping bentgrass under heat stress; 3) to investigate the simultaneous effects of CK and N on the antioxidant responses of heat stressed creeping bentgrass; and 4) to examine the expression pattern of the major heat shock proteins (HSPs) in creeping bentgrass during different heat stress periods, and then to study the influence of N on the expression pattern of HSPs. The transcript abundance of nitrate reductase (NR), nitrite reductase (NIR), plastidic glutamine synthetase (GS2), ferredoxin-dependent glutamate synthase (Fd-GOGAT), and glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) and N metabolites in shoots were monitored during the day/night cycle (14/8 h). All the measured parameters exhibited clear diurnal changes, except GS2 expression and total protein. Both NR expression and nitrate content in shoots showed a peak after 8.5 h in dark, indicating a coordinated oscillation. Nitrate nutrition increased diurnal variation of nitrate content compared to control and CKHowever, CK shifted the diurnal in vivo NR activity pattern during this period. Grass grown at high N had better turf quality (TQ), higher Fv/Fm, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and chlorophyll concentration at both 15 d and 28 d of heat stress than at low N, except for TQ at 15 d. Shoot NO3-, NH4+, and amino acids increased due to the high N treatment, but not water soluble proteins. High N also induced maximum shoot nitrate reductase activity (NRmax) at 1 d. CK increased NDVI at 15 d and Fv/Fm at 28 d. In addition, grass under 100 ÂµM CK had greatest NRmax at both 1 d and 28 d. Under high N with 100 ÂµM CK, root tZR and iPA were 160% and 97% higher than under low N without CK, respectively. Higher O2- production, H2O2 concentration, and higher malonydialdehyde (MDA) content in roots were observed in grass grown at high N. The activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), and guaiacol peroxidase (POD) in roots were enhanced by high N at 19, 22, and 24% levels, respectively, relative to low N. Twenty-eight days of heat stress resulted in either the development of new isoforms or enhanced isoform intensities of SOD, APX, and POD in roots compared to the grass responses prior to heat stress. However, no apparent differences were observed among treatments. No CK effects on these antioxidant parameters were found in this experiment. At week seven, grass at medium N had better TQ, NDVI, and Fv/Fm accompanied by lower shoot electrolyte leakage (ShEL) and higher root viability (RV), suggesting better heat resistance. All the investigated HSPs (HSP101, HSP90, HSP70, and sHSPs) were up-regulated by heat stress. Their expression patterns indicated cooperation between different HSPs and that their roles in creeping bentgrass thermotolerance were affected by N level.
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