Nitrite and nitric oxide are important in the adjustment of primary metabolism during the hypersensitive response in tobacco

Luis A.J. Mur, Aprajita Kumari, Yariv Brotman, Jurgen Zeier, Julien Mandon, Simona M. Cristescu, Frans Harren, Werner M. Kaiser, Alisdair R. Fernie, Kapuganti Jagadis Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nitrate and ammonia deferentially modulate primary metabolism during the hypersensitive response in tobacco. In this study, tobacco RNAi lines with low nitrite reductase (NiRr) levels were used to investigate the roles of nitrite and nitric oxide (NO) in this process. The lines accumulate NO2-, with increased NO generation, but allow sufficient reduction to NH4+ to maintain plant viability. For wild-type (WT) and NiRr plants grown with NO3-, inoculation with the non-host biotrophic pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola induced an accumulation of nitrite and NO, together with a hypersensitive response (HR) that resulted in decreased bacterial growth, increased electrolyte leakage, and enhanced pathogen resistance gene expression. These responses were greater with increases in NO or NO2- levels in NiRr plants than in the WT under NO3- nutrition. In contrast, WT and NiRr plants grown with NH4+ exhibited compromised resistance. A metabolomic analysis detected 141 metabolites whose abundance was differentially changed as a result of exposure to the pathogen and in response to accumulation of NO or NO2-. Of these, 13 were involved in primary metabolism and most were linked to amino acid and energy metabolism. HR-associated changes in metabolism that are often linked with primary nitrate assimilation may therefore be influenced by nitrite and NO production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4571-4582
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number17
StatePublished - 29 Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Amino acid metabolism
  • nitrate
  • nitric oxide
  • nitrite
  • nitrite reductase

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Nitrite and nitric oxide are important in the adjustment of primary metabolism during the hypersensitive response in tobacco'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this