Plant and Soil

, Volume 208, Issue 1, pp 95–102 | Cite as

Effect of ammonium or nitrate nutrition on net photosynthesis, growth, and activity of the enzymes nitrate reductase and glutamine synthetase in blueberry, raspberry and strawberry

  • W. Claussen
  • F. Lenz


Blueberry, raspberry and strawberry may have evolved strategies for survival due to the different soil conditions available in their natural environment. Since this might be reflected in their response to rhizosphere pH and N form supplied, investigations were carried out in order to compare effects of nitrate and ammonium nutrition (the latter at two different pH regimes) on growth, CO2 gas exchange, and on the activity of key enzymes of the nitrogen metabolism of these plant species. Highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L. cv. 13–16–A), raspberry (Rubus idaeus L. cv. Zeva II) and strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch. cv. Senga Sengana) were grown in 10 L black polyethylene pots in quartz sand with and without 1% CaCO3 (w: v), respectively. Nutrient solutions supplied contained nitrate (6 mM) or ammonium (6 mM) as the sole nitrogen source. Compared with strawberries fed with nitrate nitrogen, supply of ammonium nitrogen caused a decrease in net photosynthesis and dry matter production when plants were grown in quartz sand without added CaCO3. In contrast, net photosynthesis and dry matter production increased in blueberries fed with ammonium nitrogen, while dry matter production of raspberries was not affected by the N form supplied. In quartz sand with CaCO3, ammonium nutrition caused less deleterious effects on strawberries, and net photosynthesis in raspberries increased as compared to plants grown in quartz sand without CaCO3 addition. Activity of nitrate reductase (NR) was low in blueberries and could only be detected in the roots of plants supplied with nitrate nitrogen. In contrast, NR activity was high in leaves, but low in roots of raspberry and strawberry plants. Ammonium nutrition caused a decrease in NR level in leaves. Activity of glutamine synthetase (GS) was high in leaves but lower in roots of blueberry, raspberry and strawberry plants. The GS level was not significantly affected by the nitrogen source supplied. The effects of nitrate or ammonium nitrogen on net photosynthesis, growth, and activity of enzymes in blueberry, raspberry and strawberry cultivars appear to reflect their different adaptability to soil pH and N form due to the conditions of their natural environment.

ammonium toxicity buffered nutrient solution Fragaria × ananassa Rubus idaeus Vaccinium corymbosum 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Claussen
    • 1
    • 2
  • F. Lenz
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für Gemüse- und Zierpflanzenbau Großbeeren/Erfurt e.V.GroßbeerenGermany and
  2. 2.Instiut für Obst- und Gemüsebau der Universität BonnBonnGermany E-mail

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