Plasma membrane H+-ATPase overexpression increases rice yield via simultaneous enhancement of nutrient uptake and photosynthesis
Nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) are essential elements for plant growth and crop yield. Thus, improved N and C utilisation contributes to agricultural productivity and reduces the need for fertilisation. In the present study, we find that overexpression of a single rice gene, Oryza sativa plasma membrane (PM) H+-ATPase 1 (OSA1), facilitates ammonium absorption and assimilation in roots and enhanced light-induced stomatal opening with higher photosynthesis rate in leaves. As a result, OSA1 overexpression in rice plants causes a 33% increase in grain yield and a 46% increase in N use efficiency overall. As PM H+-ATPase is highly conserved in plants, these findings indicate that the manipulation of PM H+-ATPase could cooperatively improve N and C utilisation, potentially providing a vital tool for food security and sustainable agriculture. Improved utilisation of nitrogen and carbon could boost agricultural productivity. Here Zhang et al. show that overexpression of a single gene, encoding the plasma membrane H+-ATPase 1 OSA1, is able to increase both carbon fixation via photosynthesis and nitrogen assimilation via ammonium uptake in rice.