Author(s): Bollard EG, Cook AR, Turner NA
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Abstract Spirodela oligorrhiza grown in sterile culture was able to use urea as sole source of nitrogen but only when the pH of the culture medium was below 4.3. Plants inoculated into urea media at pH 6.4 initially made little growth and became nitrogen-deficient in appearance and composition although they contained about 100 μgrams of urea per gram fresh weight of tissue. After a period the pH of the medium usually fell below 4.3 and growth commenced. Growth with other compounds, e.g. ammonium, nitrate or allantoin, as sources of nitrogen was not similarly affected by the pH of the culture medium.Urease activity could always be detected in the tissues of Spirodela oligorrhiza growing on urea. Plants with little or no urease activity soon developed significant activity when inoculated into urea media at pH 4.0. When the pH of the medium was higher there was no increase in urease activity and no growth ensued. Plants growing on urea possessed an activity of about 50 milliunits per gram fresh weight of tissue, but if the pH of the medium fell to 3.5 or lower, the activity present rose to 10 times this level.Urease activity also appeared, in the absence of supplied urea, as plants became increasingly nitrogen-deficient.
This article was published in Planta
and referenced in Metabolomics:Open Access