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Plant Physiol. 1987 Nov;85(3):860-4.

Nitrogen Utilization in Lemna: II. Studies of Nitrate Uptake Using NO(3).

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Department of Botany, University of Stockholm, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden.


(13)N-labeled nitrate was used to trace short-term nitrate influx into Lemna gibba L. G3 in experiments where disappearance of both radioactivity and total nitrate from the incubation medium was measured continuously and simultaneously. In plants performing net nitrate uptake from an initial nitrate concentration of 40 to 60 micromolar, there was no discrepancy between net uptake and influx, irrespective of the N status of the plants, indicating that concomitant nitrate efflux was low or nil. Plants treated with tungstate to inactivate nitrate reductase were able to take up nitrate following induction of the uptake system by exposure to a low amount of nitrate. Also, in this case, net uptake was equivalent to influx. In tungstate-treated plants preloaded with nitrate, both net uptake and influx were nil. In contrast to these observations, a clear discrepancy between net uptake and influx was observed when the plants were incubated at an initial nitrate concentration of approximately 5 micromolar, where net uptake is low and eventually ceases. It is concluded that plasmalemma nitrate transport is essentially unidirectional in plants performing net uptake at a concentration of 40 to 60 micromolar, and that transport is nil when internal nitrate sinks (vacuole, metabolism) are eliminated. The efflux component becomes increasingly important when the external concentration approaches the threshold value for net nitrate uptake (the nitrate compensation point) where considerable exchange between internal and external nitrate occurs.

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