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Source and magnitude of ammonium generation in maize roots


, : Source and magnitude of ammonium generation in maize roots. Plant Physiology 118(3): 835-841

Studies with 15N indicate that appreciable generation of NH4+ from endogenous sources accompanies the uptake and assimilation of exogenous NH4+ by roots. To identify the source of NH4+ generation, maize (Zea mays L.) seedlings were grown on 14NH4+ and then exposed for 3 d to highly labeled 15NH4+. More of the entering 15NH4+ was incorporated into the protein-N fraction of roots in darkness (approximately 25%) than in the light (approximately 14%). Although the 14NH4+ content of roots declined rapidly to less than 1 &mgr;mol per plant, efflux of 14NH4+ continued throughout the 3-d period at an average daily rate of 14 &mgr;mol per plant. As a consequence, cumulative 14NH4+ efflux during the 3-d period accounted for 25% of the total 14N initially present in the root. Although soluble organic 14N in roots declined during the 3-d period, insoluble 14N remained relatively constant. In shoots both soluble organic 14N and 14NH4+ declined, but a comparable increase in insoluble 14N was noted. Thus, total 14N in shoots remained constant, reflecting little or no net redistribution of 14N between shoots and roots. Collectively, these observations reveal that catabolism of soluble organic N, not protein N, is the primary source of endogenous NH4+ generation in maize roots.

US$19.90

PMID: 9808727

DOI: 10.1104/pp.118.3.835


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