Short-term response in leaf metabolism of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) to alterations in nitrogen supply

A. Foito, S.L. Byrne, C.A. Hackett, R.D. Hancock, D. Stewart, S. Barth

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)


    Nitrogen is a macronutrient present in a wide range of cellular compounds including proteins, nucleic acids, amino acids and lipids. The levels of nitrogen often regulate many aspects of plant metabolism, growth and development. Extensive research has been conducted into the effects of N nutrition in model plants, however relatively little is known about the metabolic response of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) grown under different N-supply conditions. This study aimed to identify key metabolic responses activated rapidly after challenging plants with different levels of N-supply. The metabolic response of the leaves of seven different L. perenne genotypes to three N treatments (low, medium and high levels of N) was characterized using a GC–MS approach. After 24 h it was observed that the levels of amino acids correlated with the levels of N-supply. Furthermore the results indicated that plants experiencing N-limitation accumulated very-long chain fatty acids and precursors of secondary aromatic metabolites while sugar levels were not significantly affected indicating a remobilization of carbon. Plants grown under high levels of N were found to have enhanced levels of inositol and threonic acid which could reflect an alteration of the redox potential under stress. Further analysis of Pearson’s correlation coefficient provided evidence that the chlorophyll metabolism may also be regulated in plants grown at high N concentrations.
    © Springer
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)145-156
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • nitrogen
    • metabolite profiling
    • GC-MS
    • lolium perenne
    • perennial ryegrass
    • plant


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