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J Exp Bot. 2001 Aug;52(361):1665-71.

Translocation of amino acids in the xylem of apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) trees in spring as a consequence of both N remobilization and root uptake.

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Dipartimento di Colture Arboree, UniversitC di Bologna, Via F. Re 6, 40126 Bologna, Italy.


Nitrogen is remobilized from storage for the growth of Malus domestica leaves each spring. Seasonal patterns of N translocation in the xylem sap as a consequence of remobilization were determined in 2-year-old 'Golden delicious' trees grafted on M9 rootstocks. The trees were grown in sand culture and (15)NH(4)(15)NO(3) at 10.4 atom% abundance supplied during August-September. The following year no further N was supplied and destructive harvests were taken during bud burst and leaf growth to determine the patterns of N remobilization together with the isolation of xylem sap for an analysis of their amino acid profiles and (15)N enrichments by GC-MS. The concentration of amino acids in the xylem sap rose following bud burst, peaked at full bloom and then fell again during petal fall and fruit set. The peak in amino acid concentration corresponded with the period when the rate of N remobilization was the fastest. The majority of labelled N was recovered in Asn, Gln + Glu and Asp demonstrating that they were being translocated as a consequence of remobilization. In a second experiment, 8-year-old trees growing in an orchard were fertilized with N either in the autumn or spring. Xylem sap samples were collected in the spring and early summer and, by comparison with the amino acid profiles recovered in trees from both treatments, Asn was identified as the main compound translocated as a consequence of both remobilization and root uptake of N, although there was evidence that root uptake of N occurred later. The data are discussed in relation to quantifying the internal cycling of N in trees.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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