Provision of carbon skeletons for amide synthesis in non-nodulated soybean and pea roots in response to the source of nitrogen supply

Satoshi Ueda, Motoki Ikeda, Takeo Yamakawa

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Soluble amino acids in roots and primary amino acids, which were involved in primary ammonium assimilation, in the metabolites of 14C-glucose fed to roots for 3 h in the dark were analyzed in the roots of non-nodulated soybean and pea plants grown in ammonium, nitrate or nitrogen-free media for 1 day. Compared with the effect of nitrate, ammonium supply strongly affected the content and synthesis of the amino acids in the roots. In both soybean and pea roots, the supply of ammonium increased considerably the concentrations of the primary amino acids, and asparagine was the most predominant amide, followed by glutamine. In nitrate-supplied soybean roots, the concentrations of asparagine, aspartate and alanine increased, but the concentration of glutamine was low. In the roots of pea plants grown in nitrate media, asparagine was the predominant amino acid, although the composition of the primary amino acids was little affected by nitrate supply. The proportion of amino acids synthesized from 14C-glucose increased and asparagine rather than glutamine was predominantly synthesized in ammonium-supplied soybean and pea roots, whereas in nitrate-supplied roots asparagine was more actively synthesized than glutamine, although asparagine was not predominant. The ratio of C4 (asparagine + aspartate) to C5 (glutamine + glutamate) amino acids was twofold higher in ammonium-supplied and nitrate-supplied soybean roots than in roots receiving no nitrogen. In contrast, in pea roots, the C4/C5 ratio was twofold higher only in ammonium nutrition. The results obtained suggest that the roots of leguminous plants might possess an indigenous ability to provide a carbon skeleton for preferential synthesis of asparagine rather than glutamine with a high intensity of ammonium supply.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)732-737
Number of pages6
JournalSoil Science and Plant Nutrition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science


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