Xylem fluxes of fixed N through nodules of the legume Acacia littorea and haustoria of an associated N-dependent root hemiparasite Olax phyllanthi

K.U. Tennakoon, John Pate

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    Abstract

    Nodulated 1-1.5-year-old plants of Acacia littorea grown in minus nitrogen culture were each partnered with a single seedling of the root hemiparasite Olax phyllanthi. Partitioning of fixed N between plant organs of the host and parasite was studied for the period 4-8 months after introducing the parasite. N fluxes through nodules of Acacia and xylem-tapping haustoria of Olax were compared using measured xylem flows of fixed N and anatomical information for the two organs. N-2 fixation during the study interval (635 mu g N g FW nodules(-1) d(-1)) corresponded to a xylem loading flux of 0.20 mu g N mm(-2) d(-1) across the secretory membranes of the pericycle parenchyma of the nodule vascular strands. A much higher flux of N (4891 mu g mm(2) d(-1)) exited through xylem at the junction of nodule and root. The corresponding flux of N from host xylem across absorptive membranes of the endophyte parenchyma of Olax haustorium was 1.15 mu g N mm(-2) d(-1), six times the loading flux in nodules. The exit flux from haustorium to parasite rootlet was 20.0 mu g N mm(-2) d(-1), 200-fold less than that passing through xylem elements of the nodule. Fluxes of individual amino compounds in xylem of nodule and haustorium were assessed on a molar and N basis. N flux values are related to data for transpiration and partitioning of C and N of the association recorded in a companion paper.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1061-1069
    JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
    Volume48
    Issue number310
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1997

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