Nitrogen assimilation and transport in carob plants

C. Cruz, S. H. Lips, M. A. Martins‐Louçαo

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    22 Scopus citations


    Most of the nitrate reductase activity (80%;) in carob (Ceratonia siliqua L. cv. Mulata) is localised in the roots. The nitrate concentration in the leaves is relatively low compared to that in the roots, suggesting that nitrate influx into the leaf may be a major factor limiting the levels of nitrate reductase in the shoot. Transport of nitrate from root to shoot appears limited by the entrance of nitrate into the xylem. In order to study this problem, we determined the nitrate concentrations and nitrate reductase activities along the roots of nitrate‐grown plants, as well as the composition of the xylem sap and the nitrate levels in the leaves. Some of the the bypocotyl, in order to bypass the loading of nitrate into the xylem of the roots. The results show that the loading of nitrate into the xylem is a limiting step. The cation and anion concentrations of nitrate‐ and ammonium‐fed plants were similar, showing almost no production of organic anions. In both nitrate‐ and ammonium‐fed plants, the transport of nitrogen from root to shoot was in the form of organic nitrogen compounds. The nitrate reductase activity in the roots was more than sufficient to explain all the efflux of OH into the root medium of nitrate‐fed plants. In carob plants the K‐shuttle may thus be operative to a limited extent only, corresponding to between 11 and 27%; of the nitrate taken up. Potassium seems to be the cation accompanying stored nitrate in the roots of carob seedlings, since they accumulate nearly stoichiometric amounts of K+ and NO3.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)524-531
    Number of pages8
    JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 1993


    • Carob
    • Ceratonia siliqua
    • charge balance
    • nitrogen transport
    • xylem loading

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physiology
    • Genetics
    • Plant Science
    • Cell Biology


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