, Volume 237, Issue 4, pp 919–931 | Cite as

Net fluxes of ammonium and nitrate in association with H+ fluxes in fine roots of Populus popularis

  • Jie Luo
  • Jingjing Qin
  • Fangfang He
  • Hong Li
  • Tongxian Liu
  • Andrea Polle
  • Changhui Peng
  • Zhi-Bin Luo
Original Article


Poplar plants are cultivated as woody crops, which are often fertilized by addition of ammonium (NH4 +) and/or nitrate (NO3 ) to improve yields. However, little is known about net NH4 +/NO3 fluxes and their relation with H+ fluxes in poplar roots. In this study, net NH4 +/NO3 fluxes in association with H+ fluxes were measured non-invasively using scanning ion-selective electrode technique in fine roots of Populus popularis. Spatial variability of NH4 + and NO3 fluxes was found along root tips of P. popularis. The maximal net uptake of NH4 + and NO3 occurred, respectively, at 10 and 15 mm from poplar root tips. Net NH4 + uptake was induced by ca. 48 % with provision of NO3 together, but net NO3 uptake was inhibited by ca. 39 % with the presence of NH4 + in poplar roots. Furthermore, inactivation of plasma membrane (PM) H+-ATPases by orthovanadate markedly inhibited net NH4 +/NO3 uptake and even led to net NH4 + release with NO3 co-provision. Linear correlations were observed between net NH4 +/NO3 and H+ fluxes in poplar roots except that no correlation was found between net NH4 + and H+ fluxes in roots exposed to NH4Cl and 0 mM vanadate. These results indicate that root tips play a key role in NH4 +/NO3 uptake and that net NH4 +/NO3 fluxes and the interaction of net fluxes of both ions are tightly associated with H+ fluxes in poplar roots.


Efflux Fertilizer Influx Ion uptake Poplar Proton 



Plasma membrane


Scanning ion-selective electrode technique



This work was supported by National Key Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, Grant No. 2012CB416902), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31070539, 31100481, 31270647), the Special Fund for Forest Science and Technology Research in the Public Interest (Grant No. 201204210), the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University from the Ministry of Education of China (Grant No. NCET-08-0468), the Fok Ying Tung Education Foundation (Grant No. 121026), the Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education of China (Grant No. 20090204110027) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China (Grant No. QN2009063).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jie Luo
    • 1
  • Jingjing Qin
    • 1
  • Fangfang He
    • 1
  • Hong Li
    • 2
  • Tongxian Liu
    • 2
  • Andrea Polle
    • 3
  • Changhui Peng
    • 4
  • Zhi-Bin Luo
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.College of Life Sciences, Northwest Agriculture and Forestry UniversityYanglingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Applied Entomology, College of Plant Protection, Northwest Agriculture and Forestry UniversityYanglingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Forest Botany and Tree PhysiologyBüsgen-Institute Georg-August UniversityGöttingenGermany
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Environment and Ecology in Western China of Ministry of Education, College of Forestry, Northwest Agriculture and Forestry UniversityYanglingPeople’s Republic of China

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