Plant and Soil

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 51–63 | Cite as

Nitrogenase activity of pea bacteroids as affected by carbohydrates and ammonium chloride

  • F. Houwaard


Regulation and efficiency of the nitrogen-fixing system of the rhizobium-pea symbiosis were investigated. Acetylene reduction of detached root nodules was measured with various substrates added. Succinate, fumarate and malate were most effective in stimulating nitrogenase activity; glucose, pyruvate and citrate were also active. Acetylene reducing activity of detached nodules was inhibited by the addition of NH4Cl, irrespective of the substrate present. Nitrogenase activity of isolated bacteroids was not influenced by NH4Cl.

Respiration of detached nodules was not significantly stimulated by the addition of substrates. Ammonium chloride did not influence respiration. With detached nodules and isolated bacteroids a consumption of about 16 g of carbohydrate per g of nitrogen fixed could be calculated. Detached nodules produced more hydrogen relative to the acetylene reduced than did isolated bacteroids and intact plants.

Results obtained indicate that the regulation of nitrogenase activity and the efficiency of substrate consumption depend on environmental conditions.

Key Words

Acetylene reduction Ammonium chloride Bacteroids Nitrogenase Pea Pisum sativum Respiration Rhizobium leguminosarum 


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Houwaard
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of MicrobiologyAgricultural UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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