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The influence of root temperature on nitrate assimilation by cucumber and figleaf gourd



The influence of root temperature on nitrate assimilation by cucumber and figleaf gourd



Journal of the Japanese Society for Horticultural Science 57(3): 440-447



In vivo nitrate reductase (NR) activity in roots of both cucumber (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Suyo) and figleaf gourd (Cucurbita ficifolia Bouche) grown at a root temperature of 20.degree.C was greatly reduced by low temperature of the enzyme assay medium. In constrast, NR activity in roots of plants grown at either 13.degree. or 20.degree.C root temperature did not differ, based on the temperature of incubation. Activity of root NR was very low compared to that of leaf NR, particularly in figleaf gourd. The fate of nitrate nitogen (N) in plants exposed for 2 h to K15NO3 solutions at either 13.degree. or 20.degree.C root temperature was determined by chase experiments for 8 h in the light after transfer of plants to non-labeled media at the same temperatures as those the light after transfer of plants to non-labeled media at the same temperatures as those used for exposure to 15N. Absorption of nitrate-15N at 13.degree.C root temperature was significantly lower than that at 20.degree.C, especially in cucumber. However, in both species the assimilation and translocation of absorbed nitrate-15N were little affected by root temperature. Roots of both species accumulated very slight amounts of reduced-15N. Most of 15N translocated to leaves was assumed to be in the form of nitrate. These results suggest that nitrate assimilation takes place predominantly in leaves in cucumber and figleaf gourd, and that the nitrate assimilating capacity is not affected by low root temperature and therefore not responsible for the differentiated root-chilling tolerance of these plant species.

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