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Effects of different ammoniacal nitrogen sources on N-metabolism of the atmospheric bromeliad Tillandsia pohliana Mez


Journal: Revista Brasileira de Botânica
ISSN 0100-8404

Volume: 24;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 407;
Date: 2001;
Original page

Keywords: Bromeliaceae | NH3 | NH4+ | GS | GDH-NADH

Increasing levels of atmospheric ammonia from anthropogenic sources have become a serious problem for natural vegetation. Short-term effects of different ammoniacal sources on the N metabolism of Tillandsia pohliana, an atmospheric bromeliad, were investigated. One-year-old, aseptically grown plants were transferred to a modified Knudson medium lacking N for three weeks. Plants were subsequently transferred to Knudson media supplemented with 0.5, 1.0, or 1.5 mM of N in the forms of NH3 or NH4+ as the sole N source. The activities of glutamine synthetase (GS) and glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH-NADH) were determined after 40 h. The GS activity was stimulated significantly by increasing the levels of the gaseous form. The GDH-NADH activity increased significantly under increasing N concentrations with NH3, while no significant differences were observed with NH4+ as a N source. These results may reflect a faster NH3 absorption by T. pohliana compared to NH4+ uptake. The increased activity of GDH-NADH in NH3 treatment may play a role in protecting the cells from the toxic effects of increased endogenous level of free ammonium. A raise in the concentration of N, especially in the form of NH3, greatly increased the content of free amino acids and soluble proteins. A possible utilisation of T. pohliana to evaluate the changes of atmospheric gaseous ammonia is proposed.
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