Nitrogen is an essential macronutrient for plant growth and survival. Here, the temporal and spatial sensing of nitrogen starvation is analyzed in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). The promoter for the high-affinity ammonium transporter, AtAmt1.1, is shown to be a valid indicator for nitrogen status in leaves and roots. An AtAmt1.1-Gal4 transgene using three 5x upstream activating sequence-driven reporters (luciferase, green fluorescent protein, and beta-glucuronidase) facilitated in vivo profiling at the whole-plant and cellular levels. The effects of nitrogen supply, light duration, light intensity, and carbon on the expression of the AtAmt1.1 gene in the roots and aerial tissues are reported. Under nitrogen starvation, high expression is observed in the roots and, under nitrogen-sufficient conditions, high expression is observed in the leaves. This reciprocal regulation of AtAmt1.1 was confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, which was also used to quantitate expression of the five other Amt genes in Arabidopsis. Although some of these show tissue specificity (roots or leaves), none exhibit reciprocal regulation like the AtAmt1.1-encoded high-affinity transporter. This robust reciprocal expression suggests that Arabidopsis undergoes rapid resource reallocation in plants grown under different nitrogen supply regimens. Ultimately, nitrogen starvation-mediated reallocation results in root architectural restructuring. We describe the precise timing and cellular aspects of this nitrogen limitation response.