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Planta. 2002 Aug;215(4):639-44. Epub 2002 May 24.

Regulation of amino acid uptake in conifers by exogenous and endogenous nitrogen.

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  • 1Umeå Plant Science Center, Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 90183 Umeå, Sweden. jorgen.persson@genfys.slu.se


Although an accumulating amount of research clearly indicates that plants are capable of taking up exogenous amino acids, the actual importance of such organic N sources for plant N nutrition is under debate. In this study, we show that amino acid uptake by Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) is significantly decreased by elevated internal NH(4)(+) levels, while it increases following exposure to exogenous amino acids. Furthermore, amino acid uptake is larger in N-deficient plants than in plants grown with a large access of N. The regulatory pattern of amino acid uptake shows important similarities to the regulation of NO(3)(-) and NH(4)(+) transport as well as to the regulation of yeast amino acid transporters. In addition, our data suggest that uptake may be regulated by factors not originating from N metabolism. The up-regulation of uptake in response to N deficiency suggests that amino acid uptake may be a significant contributor to the N economy of P. sylvestris.

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