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Utilization of nitrate by bacteroids of Bradyrhizobium japonicum in the soybean root nodule

C. Giannakis, D.J.D. Nicholas and W. Wallace
Planta
Vol. 174, No. 1 (1988), pp. 51-58
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23379223
Page Count: 8
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Utilization of nitrate by bacteroids of Bradyrhizobium japonicum in the soybean root nodule
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Abstract

Bacteroids of Bradyrhizobium japonicum strain CB1809, unlike CC705, do not have a high level of constitutive nitrate reductase (NR; EC 1.7.99.4) in the soybean (Glycine max. Merr.) nodule. Ex planta both strains have a high activity of NR when cultured on 5 mM nitrate at 2% O2 (v/v). Nitrite reductase (NiR) was active in cultured cells of bradyrhizobia, but activity with succinate as electron donor was not detected in freshly-isolated bacteroids. A low activity was measured with reduced methyl viologen. When bacteroids of CC705 were incubated with nitrate there was a rapid production of nitrite which resulted in repression of NR. Subsequently when NiR was induced, nitrite was utilized and NR activity recovered. Nitrate reductase was induced in bacteroids of strain CB1809 when they were incubated in-vitro with nitrate or nitrite. Increase in NR activity was prevented by rifampicin (10 μg· ml-1) or chloramphenicol (50 μg·ml-1). Nitrite-reductase activity in bacteroids of strain CB1809 was induced in parallel with NR. When nitrate was supplied to soybeans nodulated with strain CC705, nitrite was detected in nodule extracts prepared in aqueous media and it accumulated during storage (1° C) and on further incubation at 25° C. Nitrite was not detected in nodule extracts prepared in ethanol. Thus nitrite accumulation in nodule tissue appears to occur only after maceration and although bacteroids of some strains of B. japonicum have a high level of a constitutive NR, they do not appear to reduce nitrate in the nodule because this anion does not gain access to the bacteroid zone. Soybeans nodulated with strains CC705 and CB1809 were equally sensitive to nitrate inhibition of N2 fixation.

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