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Plant Physiol. 1985 Mar;77(3):770-8.

Uptake of Amino Acids and Other Organic Compounds by Lemna paucicostata Hegelm. 6746.

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  • 1Laboratory of General and Comparative Biochemistry, National Institute of Mental Health, Washington, D.C. 202053200.


A survey of the capacity of Lemna paucicostata to take up organic compounds such as might be present in the natural environment of this plant has identified eight discrete transport systems. Reciprocal inhibition studies defined the preferred substrates for these systems as follows: (a) neutral l-alpha-amino acids, (b) basic amino acids, (c) purine bases, (d) choline, (e) ethanolamine, (f) tyramine, (g) urea, and (h) aldohexoses. Each of these systems takes up its preferred substrates at high rates. At low concentrations, each Lemna frond during each minute takes up amounts which would be found in volumes ranging from 0.4 (tyramine) to 3.9 (urea) times its own volume. The two systems for amino acid transport both showed kinetics of the biphasic type, so that uptake by each can be described as the composite result of two Michaelis-Menten processes. The neutral amino acid system neither transports basic amino acids nor is inhibited by these compounds. The basic amino acid system does not transport neutral amino acids but is strongly inhibited by some, but not all, of these compounds. It is argued that the maintenance of these active, specific, and discrete systems in Lemna suggests they play important roles permitting this plant to utilize organic compounds occurring naturally in its environment.

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