Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 49, Issue 2–3, pp 127–136 | Cite as

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

  • Langjun Cui
  • Rang Cao
  • Jianlong Li
  • Linsheng Zhang
  • Jiazhen Wang
Original Paper


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.


Ammonium assimilation Festuca arundinacea Free amino acid High temperature stress Nitrogen 



Dry weight


Fresh weight


Glutamine synthetase


Jaguar 3 brand


NADH-dependent glutamate dehydrogenase


NADH-dependent glutamate synthase


Nitrite reductase


Nitrate reductase


Δ1-Pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase


Proline dehydrogenase


Net photosynthetic rate




Superoxide dismutase


TF 66


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We are grateful to Professor Liang Zongsuo (Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling, P. R. China) for suggestions relating to the work. We are also grateful to Prof. Arthur P. Cracknell (University of Dundee, UK) for critical reading of the manuscript. Illuminating comments from the chief editor and two anonymous reviewers are also appreciated. The research was supported by “Jiangsu Province Natural Science Fund (BK 20052(2))”.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Langjun Cui
    • 1
  • Rang Cao
    • 2
  • Jianlong Li
    • 1
    • 3
  • Linsheng Zhang
    • 2
  • Jiazhen Wang
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Life SciencesShaanxi Normal UniversityXi’anP.R. China
  2. 2.School of Life SciencesNorthwest Science and Technology University of Agriculture and ForestryYanglingP.R. China
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Life SciencesNanjing UniversityNanjingP.R. China

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