, Volume 68, Issue 3, pp 193-201

Responses of nitrogen metabolism in N-sufficient barley primary leaves to plant growth in elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide

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Effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide enrichment on nitrogen metabolism were studied in barley primary leaves (Hordeum vulgare L. cv. Brant). Seedlings were grown in chambers under ambient (36 Pa) and elevated (100 Pa) carbon dioxide and were fertilized daily with complete nutrient solution providing 12 millimolar nitrate and 2.5 millimolar ammonium. Foliar nitrate and ammonium were 27% and 42% lower (P ≤ 0.01) in the elevated compared to ambient carbon dioxide treatments, respectively. Enhanced carbon dioxide affected leaf ammonium levels by inhibiting photorespiration. Diurnal variations of total nitrate were not observed in either treatment. Total and Mg2+inhibited nitrate reductase activities per gram fresh weight were slightly lower (P ≤ 0.01) in enhanced compared to ambient carbon dioxide between 8 and 15 DAS. Diurnal variations of total nitrate reductase activity in barley primary leaves were similar in either treatment except between 7 and 10 h of the photoperiod when enzyme activities were decreased (P ≤ 0.05) by carbon dioxide enrichment. Glutamate was similar and glutamine levels were increased by carbon dioxide enrichment between 8 and 13 DAS. However, both glutamate and glutamine were negatively impacted by elevated carbon dioxide when leaf yellowing was observed 15 and 17 DAS. The above findings showed that carbon dioxide enrichment produced only slight modifications in leaf nitrogen metabolism and that the chlorosis of barley primary leaves observed under enhanced carbon dioxide was probably not attributable to a nutritionally induced nitrogen limitation.

This revised version was published online in June 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.