Author(s): Uheda E, Maejima K
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Abstract In the Azolla-Anabaena association, the host plant Azolla efficiently incorporates and assimilates ammonium ions that are released from the nitrogen-fixing cyanobiont, probably via glutamine synthetase (GS; EC 220.127.116.11) in hair cells, which are specialized cells protruding into the leaf cavity. In order to clarify the regulatory mechanism underlying ammonium assimilation in the Azolla-Anabaena association, Azolla plants were grown under an argon environment (Ar), in which the nitrogen-fixing activity of the cyanobiont was inhibited specifically and completely. The localization of GS in hair cells was determined by immunoelectron microscopy and quantitative analysis of immunogold labeling. Azolla plants grew healthily under Ar when nitrogen sources, such as NO(3)(-) and NH(4)(+), were provided in the growth medium. Both the number of cyanobacterial cells per leaf and the heterocyst frequency of the plants under Ar were similar to those of plants in a nitrogen environment (N(2)). In hair cells of plants grown under Ar, regardless of the type of nitrogen source provided, only weak labeling of GS was observed in the cytoplasm and in chloroplasts. In contrast, in hair cells of plants grown under N(2), abundant labeling of GS was observed in both sites. These findings indicate that specific inhibition of the nitrogen-fixing activity of the cyanobiont affects the localization of GS isoenzymes. Ammonium fixed and released by the cyanobiont could stimulate GS synthesis in hair cells. Simultaneously, the abundant GS, probably GS1, in these cells, could assimilate ammonium rapidly.
This article was published in J Plant Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development