Root nodule symbiosis
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Symbiotic nitrogen fixation of Rhizobium meliloti bacteroids in Medicago sativa root nodules was suppressed by several inorganic nitrogen sources. Amino acids like glutamine, glutamic acid and aspartic acid, which can serve as sole nitrogen sources for the unnodulated plant did not influence nitrogenase activity of effective nodules, even at high concentrations. Ammonia and nitrate suppressed symbiotic nitrogen fixation in vivo only at concentrations much higher than those needed for suppression of nitrogenase activity in free living nitrogen fixing bacteria. The kinetics of suppression were slow compared with that of free living nitrogen fixing bacteria. On the other hand, nitrite, which acts as a direct inhibitor of nitrogenase, suppressed very quickly and at low concentrations. Glutamic acid and glutamine enhanced the effect of ammonia dramatically, while the suppression by nitrate was enhanced only slightly.
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