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Plant Biol (Stuttg). 2007 Jan;9(1):21-9. Epub 2006 Oct 17.

Effect of ammonium and nitrate nutrition on some physiological processes in higher plants - growth, photosynthesis, photorespiration, and water relations.

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College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Tongwei Road 6, Nanjing, 210095, China.


Ammonium and nitrate as different forms of nitrogen nutrients impact differently on some physiological and biochemical processes in higher plants. Compared to nitrate, ammonium results in small root and small leaf area, which may contribute to a low carbon gain, and an inhibition on growth. On the other hand, due to (photo)energy saving, a higher CO (2) assimilation rate per leaf area was observed frequently in plants supplied with ammonium than in those supplied with nitrate. These results were dependent not only on higher Rubisco content and/or activity, but also on RuBP regeneration rate. The difference in morphology such as chloroplast volume and specific leaf weight might be the reason why the CO (2) concentration in the carboxylation site and hence the photorespiration rate differs in plants supplied with the two nitrogen forms. The effect of nitrogen form on water uptake and transportation in plants is dependent both on leaf area or shoot parameter, and on the root activity (i.e., root hydraulic conductivity, aquaporin activity).

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