Uptake of ammonium and nitrate by carob (Ceratonia siliqua) as affected by root temperature and inhibitors

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

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19 Scopus citations


Seedlings of carob (Ceratonia siliqua L. cv. Mulata) were grown in nutrient solution culture for 5 weeks, with or without nitrogen at different root temperatures (10, 16, 22, 30, 35 or 40deg;C) and with the air temperature kept between 20 and 24°C. The nitrogen was given as either ammonium or nitrate. At all root temperatures studied, nitrogen‐depleted plants developed higher net uptake rates for nitrogen than plants grown in the presence of nitrogen. Temperature affected the kinetic parameters of nitrate uptake more than those of ammonium uptake. With increasing root temperature, the Km of ammonium uptake decreased, but to a lesser extent than the Km for nitrate. The increase in Vmax of ammonium uptake with temperature was also less noticeable than that for nitrate uptake. Ammonium and nitrate uptakes were inhibited in a similar way by respiratory or protein synthesis inhibitors. It may be noted that ammonium uptake in the presence of inhibitors at 40°C was higher than uptake at 10°C without inhibitors. Some similarities between the transport mechanisms for nitrate and ammonium are underlined in the present work. Components of both transport systems displayed saturation kinetics and depended on protein synthesis and energy. The following components of nitrate uptake were distinguished: (a) a passive net influx into the apparent free space; (b) a constitutive active uptake and (c) active uptake dependent on protein synthesis. We may similarly define three ammonium uptake systems: (a) a passive influx into the apparent free space; (b) passive diffusion uptake at high temperature and (c) active uptake dependent on protein synthesis. The possible role of the ratio between mechanism (c) and mechanism (b) as determinant of ammonium sensitivity is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-543
Number of pages12
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1993


  • Ammonium
  • Ceratonia siliqua
  • carob
  • ion uptake rate
  • nitrate
  • root temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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