Plant and Soil

, Volume 302, Issue 1–2, pp 221–231

Characteristics of amino acid uptake in barley

  • Sandra Jämtgård
  • Torgny Näsholm
  • Kerstin Huss-Danell
Regular Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11104-007-9473-4

Cite this article as:
Jämtgård, S., Näsholm, T. & Huss-Danell, K. Plant Soil (2008) 302: 221. doi:10.1007/s11104-007-9473-4


Plants have the ability to take up organic nitrogen (N) but this has not been thoroughly studied in agricultural plants. A critical question is whether agricultural plants can acquire amino acids in a soil ecosystem. The aim of this study was to characterize amino acid uptake capacity in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) from a mixture of amino acids at concentrations relevant to field conditions. Amino acids in soil solution under barley were collected in microlysimeters. The recorded amino acid composition, 0–8.2 μM of l-Serine, l-Glutamic acid, Glycine, l-Arginine and l-Alanine, was then used as a template for uptake studies in hydroponically grown barley plants. Amino acid uptake during 2 h was studied at initial concentrations of 2–25 μM amino acids and recorded as amino acid disappearance from the incubation solution, analysed with HPLC. The uptake was verified in control experiments using several other techniques. Uptake of all five amino acids occurred at 2 μM and below. The concentration dependency of the uptake rate could be described by Michaelis–Menten kinetics. The affinity constant (Km) was in the range 19.6–33.2 μM. These Km values are comparable to reported values for soil micro-organisms.


Active uptake Affinity constant Amino acids in soil solution Efflux Nitrogen acquisition Organic nitrogen 



Dry matter


High-performance liquid chromatography

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra Jämtgård
    • 1
  • Torgny Näsholm
    • 2
  • Kerstin Huss-Danell
    • 1
  1. 1.Crop Science Section, Department of Agricultural Research for Northern SwedenSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUmeåSweden
  2. 2.Umeå Plant Science Centre, Department of Forest Genetics and Plant PhysiologySwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUmeåSweden

Personalised recommendations