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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01507


  • 1Department of Agriculture, University of Naples Federico II, Italy
  • 2Department of Environmental, Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Italy
  • 3Institut Polytechnique de Bordeaux, France
  • 4University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Italy

Omeprazole is a selective proton pump inhibitor in humans that inhibits the H+/K+-ATPase of gastric parietal cells. Omeprazole has been recently shown to act as a plant growth regulator and enhancer of salt stress tolerance. Here we report that omeprazole treatment in hydroponically grown maize improves nitrogen uptake and assimilation. The presence of micromolar concentrations of omeprazole in the nutrient solution alleviates the chlorosis and growth inhibition induced by low nitrogen availability. Nitrate uptake and assimilation is enhanced in omeprazole treated plants through changes in nitrate reductase activity, primary metabolism, and gene expression. Omeprazole enhances nitrate assimilation through an interaction with nitrate reductase, altering its activation state and affinity for nitrate as a substrate. Omeprazole and its targets represent a novel method for enhancing nitrogen use efficiency in plants.

Keywords: benzimidazole, NUE (Nitrogen Use Efficiency), Proton pump inhibitor (PPI), Maize, nitrogen assimilation, Nitrate Reductase

Received: 02 Jul 2019; Accepted: 30 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Van Oosten, Dell'Aversana, Ruggiero, Cirillo, Gibon, Woodrow, Maggio and Carillo. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Petronia Carillo, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Caserta, Italy,