Chinese Bulletin of Botany ›› 2016, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (2): 152-166.DOI: 10.11983/CBB15077

• INVITED REVIEW • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Advances in Study of Ammonium Assimilation and its Regulatory Mechanism in Plants

Xiaopeng Xu1, Xiangdong Fu2, Hong Liao1*   

  1. 1Root Biology Center, College of Agriculture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China

    2Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2015-05-18 Revised:2015-07-28 Online:2016-03-01 Published:2016-03-31
  • Contact: Hong Liao


Nitrogen is one of the most important mineral nutrient elements for plant growth and development, playing an essential role in the whole process of plant life. Nitrogen assimilation is a central link for plants to utilize nitrogen and also a factor in low nitrogen use efficiency in plants. It includes two types: assimilation of nitrate (NO3 –) and ammonium (NH4 +); the latter is the critical step in the process of nitrogen assimilation. The source of NH4
+ during ammonium assimilation can be divided into 2 types—primary assimilation and secondary assimilation—but both proceed in the glutamine/glutamate (GS/GOGAT) pathway. Ammonium assimilation requires much energy resources but also consumes abundant carbon skeletons, so it is strictly regulated at different levels including transcription, post-transcription, and post-translation. We review the current progress in study of ammonium assimilation and its regulatory mechanism in plants.