, Volume 49, Issue 2-3, pp 127-136
Date: 29 Sep 2006

High temperature effects on ammonium assimilation in leaves of two Festuca arundinacea cultivars with different heat susceptibility

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The aim of this study was to determine the effects of high temperature stress on ammonium assimilation in leaves of two tall fescue cultivars (Festuca arundinacea), Jaguar 3 brand (J3) (heat-tolerant) and TF 66 (T6) (heat-sensitive). High temperature stress for either 10 d or 20 d, and particularly the 20 d stress, produced dramatic changes in ammonium assimilation. After 20 d of stress treatment, the accumulations of total nitrogen, nitrate, soluble protein and total free amino acid (20 amino acids) decreased in both cultivars. Moreover, the activities of main regulatory enzymes, such as nitrate reductase, glutamine synthetase (GS), NADH-dependent glutamate synthase (GOGAT), as well as Δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase (P5CR), also decreased in both cultivars when exposed to 20 d stress. Heat stress had little influence on ammonium accumulation in J3, but this was not the case with T6. The accumulations of nitrate, ammonium, soluble protein, and total free amino acid between the two cultivars were different. This suggests that accumulations of these nitrogen forms were associated with heat tolerance in both tall fescue cultivars. Changes of both NADH-glutamate dehydrogenase (NADH-GDH) activity and Glx (glutamine and glutamic acid) concentration in both cultivars indicated that there is an alternative system for assimilation of nitrogen through glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) in T6 during longer high temperature stress periods. Our results provide an insight to further selection and breeding of heat-tolerant tall fescue turfgrass cultivars.