Biologia Plantarum

, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 579–587 | Cite as

Nitrogen metabolism-related enzymes in Mesembryanthemum crystallinum after Botrytis cinerea infection

  • E. Gajewska
  • E. Surówka
  • A. Kornas
  • E. Kuźniak
Original paper


We compared C3 and CAM (crassulacean acid metabolism) states in Mesembryanthemum crystallinum, a facultative CAM species, with respect to the involvement of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) and nitrogen metabolismrelated enzymes in plant response to Botrytis cinerea infection. The enzyme activities were monitored both in pathogeninoculated 2nd leaf pair and non-inoculated 3rd leaf pair. The control activities of most studied enzymes were dependent on the mode of photosynthesis. Compared to C3 plants, those performing CAM exhibited higher PEPC, nitrate reductase (NR), and deaminating glutamate dehydrogenase (NAD-GDH) activities but lower glutamine synthetase (GS) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activities. Regardless of the mode of photosynthetic carbon assimilation, the plants responded to infection with enhancement of PEPC and inhibition of NR activities in the inoculated leaves. Whereas the activity of GS remained unaffected, those of all glutamate-yielding enzymes, namely ferredoxin-dependent glutamate synthase (Fd-GOGAT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), ALT, and aminating glutamate dehydrogenase (NADHGDH) were altered after infection. However, the time-course and extent of the observed changes differed in C3 and CAM plants. In general, CAM plants responded to infection with an earlier increase in PEPC and Fd-GOGAT activities as well as later inhibition of NR activity. Contrary to C3 plants, in those performing CAM the activities of PEPC, Fd-GOGAT, NADH-GDH, and AST in the non-inoculated 3rd leaf pair were similarly influenced by infection as in leaves directly inoculated with the pathogen. This implies that the local infection induced an alteration of carbon/nitrogen status in healthy upper leaves. This reprogramming resulting from changes in PEPC and nitrogen metabolism-related enzymes was C3- and CAM-specific.

Additional key words

crassulacean acid metabolism glutamate dehydrogenase grey mould ice plant nitrate reductase phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase 



alanine aminotransferase


aspartate aminotransferase


crassulacean acid metabolism


day after inoculation


ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid


ferredoxin-dependent glutamate synthase


glutamine synthetase


NAD-dependent glutamate dehydrogenase


NADH-dependent glutamate dehydrogenase


NADH-dependent glutamate synthase


nitrite reductase


nitrate reductase


phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase

TCA cycle

tricarboxylic acid cycle


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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Gajewska
    • 1
  • E. Surówka
    • 2
  • A. Kornas
    • 3
  • E. Kuźniak
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Biology and Environmental ProtectionUniversity of ŁódźŁódźPoland
  2. 2.Institute of Plant PhysiologyPolish Academy of SciencesKrakówPoland
  3. 3.Institute of BiologyPedagogical UniversityKrakówPoland

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