Long-term non-invasive and continuous measurements of legume nodule activity
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Symbiotic nitrogen fixation is a process of considerable economic, ecological and scientific interest. The central enzyme nitrogenase reduces H+ alongside N2, and the evolving H2 allows a continuous and non-invasive in vivo measurement of nitrogenase activity. The objective of this study was to show that an elaborated set-up providing such measurements for periods as long as several weeks will produce specific insight into the nodule activity’s dependence on environmental conditions and genotype features. A system was developed that allows the air-proof separation of a root/nodule and a shoot compartment. H2 evolution in the root/nodule compartment can be monitored continuously. Nutrient solution composition, temperature, CO2 concentration and humidity around the shoots can concomitantly be maintained and manipulated. Medicago truncatula plants showed vigorous growth in the system when relying on nitrogen fixation. The set-up was able to provide specific insights into nitrogen fixation. For example, nodule activity depended on the temperature in their surroundings, but not on temperature or light around shoots. Increased temperature around the nodules was able to induce higher nodule activity in darkness versus light around shoots for a period of as long as 8 h. Conditions that affected the N demand of the shoots (ammonium application, Mg or P depletion, super numeric nodules) induced consistent and complex daily rhythms in nodule activity. It was shown that long-term continuous measurements of nodule activity could be useful for revealing special features in mutants and could be of importance when synchronizing nodule harvests for complex analysis of their metabolic status.
Artículo de publicación ISI
DOI: DOI: 10.1111/tpj.12751
Quote ItemThe Plant Journal (2015) 81, 637–648
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