Amino acids as a nitrogen source for tomato seedlings: The use of dual-labeled (13C, 15N) glycine to test for direct uptake by tomato seedlings

Tida Ge, Shiwei Song, P. Roberts, D. L. Jones, Danfeng Huang, K. Iwasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Direct uptake of organic nitrogen (ON) compounds, rather than inorganic N, by plant roots has been hypothesized to constitute a significant pathway for plant nutrition. The aim of this study was to test whether tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum cv. Huying932) can take up ON directly from the soil by using 15NH4Cl, K15NO3, 1, 2-13C215N-glycine labeling techniques. The 13C and 15N in the plants increased significantly indicating that a portion of the glycine-N was taken up in the form of intact amino acids by the tomatoes within 48 h after injection into the soil. Regression analysis of excess 13C against excess 15N showed that approximately 21% of the supplied glycine-N was taken up intact by the tomatoes. Atom% excesses of 15N and 13C in the roots were higher than in any shoots. Results also indicated rapid turnover of amino acids (e.g., glycine) by soil microorganisms, and the poor competitive ability of tomatoes in absorbing amino acids from the soil solution. This implies that tomatoes can take up ON in an intact form from the soil despite the rapid turnover of organic N usually found under such conditions. Given the influence of climatic change and N pollution, further studies investigating the functional ecological implications of ON in horticultural ecosystems are warranted. Crown

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-361
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental and Experimental Botany
Volume66
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes

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