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Plant Physiol. 1983 Sep;73(1):105-10.

Short Term Studies of Nitrate Uptake into Barley Plants Using Ion-Specific Electrodes and ClO(3): II. Regulation of NO(3) Efflux by NH(4).

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Botany Department, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 2B1.


The influence of NH(4) (+), in the external medium, on fluxes of NO(3) (-) and K(+) were investigated using barley (Hordeum vulgare cv Betzes) plants. NH(4) (+) was without effect on NO(3) (-) ((36)ClO(3) (-)) influx whereas inhibition of net uptake appeared to be a function of previous NO(3) (-) provision. Plants grown at 10 micromolar NO(3) (-) were sensitive to external NH(4) (+) when uptake was measured in 100 micromolar NO(3) (-). By contrast, NO(3) (-) uptake (from 100 micromolar NO(3) (-)) by plants previously grown at this concentration was not reduced by NH(4) (+) treatment. Plants pretreated for 2 days with 5 millimolar NO(3) (-) showed net efflux of NO(3) (-) when roots were transferred to 100 micromolar NO(3) (-). This efflux was stimulated in the presence of NH(4) (+). NH(4) (+) also stimulated NO(3) (-) efflux from plants pretreated with relatively low nitrate concentrations. It is proposed that short term effects on net uptake of NO(3) (-) occur via effects upon efflux. By contrast to the situation for NO(3) (-), net K(+) uptake and influx of (36)Rb(+)-labeled K(+) was inhibited by NH(4) (+) regardless of the nutrient history of the plants. Inhibition of net K(+) uptake reached its maximum value within 2 minutes of NH(4) (+) addition. It is concluded that the latter ion exerts a direct effect upon K(+) influx.

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