Nitrogen metabolism in leaves of a tank epiphytic bromeliad: characterization of a spatial and functional division.

Abstract:

:The leaf is considered the most important vegetative organ of tank epiphytic bromeliads due to its ability to absorb and assimilate nutrients. However, little is known about the physiological characteristics of nutrient uptake and assimilation. In order to better understand the mechanisms utilized by some tank epiphytic bromeliads to optimize the nitrogen acquisition and assimilation, a study was proposed to verify the existence of a differential capacity to assimilate nitrogen in different leaf portions. The experiments were conducted using young plants of Vriesea gigantea. A nutrient solution containing NO₃⁻/NH₄⁺ or urea as the sole nitrogen source was supplied to the tank of these plants and the activities of urease, nitrate reductase (NR), glutamine synthetase (GS) and glutamate dehydrogenase (NADH-GDH) were quantified in apical and basal leaf portions after 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 24 and 48 h. The endogenous ammonium and urea contents were also analyzed. Independent of the nitrogen sources utilized, NR and urease activities were higher in the basal portions of leaves in all the period analyzed. On the contrary, GS and GDH activities were higher in apical part. It was also observed that the endogenous ammonium and urea had the highest contents detected in the basal region. These results suggest that the basal portion was preferentially involved in nitrate reduction and urea hydrolysis, while the apical region could be the main area responsible for ammonium assimilation through the action of GS and GDH activities. Moreover, it was possible to infer that ammonium may be transported from the base, to the apex of the leaves. In conclusion, it was suggested that a spatial and functional division in nitrogen absorption and NH₄⁺ assimilation between basal and apical leaf areas exists, ensuring that the majority of nitrogen available inside the tank is quickly used by bromeliad's leaves.

journal_name

J Plant Physiol

authors

Takahashi CA,Mercier H

doi

10.1016/j.jplph.2011.01.008

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2011-07-15 00:00:00

pages

1208-16

issue

11

eissn

0176-1617

issn

1618-1328

pii

S0176-1617(11)00059-9

journal_volume

168

pub_type

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