, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 245-252

Comparative utilization of inorganic and organic compounds as sole nitrogen sources by the submergent duckweed,Lemna trisulca L.

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The capability of the submergentLemna trisulca L. to utilize various inorganic and organic sources of nitrogen was studied using both non-axenic and axenic cultures. When doubling time for frond production was measured, the nitrogen sources in order of effectiveness were urea, aspartic acid, nitrate, glutamic acid, arginine, ammonium and casein hydrolysate. Nitrite supported a relatively rapid growth rate after an initial lag of 7 days. Other parameters of growth such as fresh or dry weight per frond or ohlorophyll content did not oorrelate well with rate of frond production. Casein hydrolysate and urea were found to elicit a morphology different from that seen in cultures containing the other nitrogen sources. These preferences for source of nitrogen were different than those known for the emergent species ofLemnaceae. The unique value ofL. trisulca as a subject for plant physiological research is discussed. This study also provides a possible explanation for the existence of nutritional niches existing in aquatio ecosystems containing several different species ofLemnaceae.