Nitrate reductase and glutamine synthetase activities in relation to growth and nitrogen assimilation in red oak and red ash seedlings: effects of N-forms, N concentration and light intensity
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- Truax, B., Lambert, F., Gagnon, D. et al. Trees (1994) 9: 12. doi:10.1007/BF00197864
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The effects of growing seedlings of red oak (Quercus rubra) and red ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) with Hoagland solutions containing five N-regimes, differing in the N-forms (NH4, NO3) and concentrations (High and Low), in relation to light intensity were investigated by the utilization of enzymatic markers of the N assimilation pathway, nitrate reductase (NR) and glutamine synthetase (GS). Red oak and red ash showed different patterns of N-assimilation. Red oak seedlings assimilated NO3 in low amounts in their roots and leaves, whereas red ash seedlings assimilated high amounts of NO3, mostly in the leaves. A significant amount of constitutive NR activity was found in red oak seedlings supplied with NH4 N-regime. This could be characteristic of a species adapted to soils that are poor in nitrogen. Root GS activity was lower in red oak seedlings than in red ash seedlings, indicating that the rate of NH4 assimilation differed in these two hardwood species. Low irradiance reduced growth of both hardwood species, but greatly affected the specific leaf area of red ash and reduced NO3 assimilation (when data are expressed per leaf area). Both species reacted similarly to N-regimes in terms of relative growth rate.