Plasma membrane H+-ATPase overexpression increases rice yield via simultaneous enhancement of nutrient uptake and photosynthesis

Maoxing Zhang, Yin Wang, Xi Chen, Feiyun Xu, Ming Ding, Wenxiu Ye, Yuya Kawai, Yosuke Toda, Yuki Hayashi, Takamasa Suzuki, Houqing Zeng, Liang Xiao, Xin Xiao, Jin Xu, Shiwei Guo, Feng Yan, Qirong Shen, Guohua Xu, Toshinori Kinoshita, Yiyong Zhu

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.