The present invention relates to a method for producing plants with improved agronomic and nutritional traits. Such traits include enhanced nitrogen assimilatory and utilization capacities, faster and more vigorous growth, greater vegetative and reproductive yields, and enriched or altered nitrogen content in vegetative and reproductive parts. More particularly, the invention relates to the engineering of plants modified to have altered expression of key enzymes in the nitrogen assimilation and utilization pathways. In one embodiment of the present invention, the desired altered expression is accomplished by engineering the plant for ectopic overexpression of one of more the native or modified nitrogen assimilatory enzymes. The invention also has a number of other embodiments, all of which are disclosed herein.
This invention was made with government support under grant no.: GM32877 awarded by the National Institute of Health, and grant nos.: DEFG0292 and ER20071 awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.