ARTÍCULO

Nitrate modifies the assimilation pattern of ammonium and urea in wheat seedlings

Autores: Garnica Ochoa, María; Houdusse, F.; Zamarreño Arregui, Ángel; García-Mina Freire, José María (Autor de correspondencia)
Título de la revista: JOURNAL OF THE SCIENCE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
ISSN: 0022-5142
Volumen: 90
Número: 3
Páginas: 357 - 369
Fecha de publicación: 2010
Resumen:
BACKGROUND: In certain plant species, ammonium or urea nutrition can cause negative effects on plant development which can result in toxic symptoms. Some authors suggest that the presence of nitrate can alleviate these symptoms by increasing ammonium and urea assimilation, avoiding its accumulation. In order to study this hypothesis, wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) seedlings were grown with various nitrogen supplies containing the main nitrogen forms (ammonium, nitrate and urea). Amino acids content and the activity of the three main enzymes involved in nitrogen assimilation (nitrate reductase, glutamine synthetase and urease) were studied. RESULTS: The application of nitrate along with urea and/or ammonium was not associated with a time¿sustained increase in the activity of glutamine synthetase and urease. Amino acid analysis revealed that nitrate induced changes in amino acid metabolism enhancing its concentration. Likewise the content of protein was also higher in nitrate¿treated plants. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that the effect of nitrate is compatible with a rapid and transient increase in the activity of glutamine synthetase and urease during the first hour after the onset of treatments. Nevertheless, a possible effect of nitrate reducing ammonium accumulation through the activation of alternative metabolic pathways different from that involving glutamine synthetase cannot be ruled out.