Genetic and biochemical analysis of intragenic complementation events among nitrate reductase apoenzyme-deficient mutants of Nicotiana plumbaginifolia

Pelsy, F.; Gonneau, M.

Genetics 127(1): 199-204


ISSN/ISBN: 0016-6731
PMID: 2016042
Accession: 002117097

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Intragenic complementation has been observed between apoenzyme nitrate reductase-deficient mutants (nia) of Nicotiana plumbaginifolia. In vivo as in vitro, the NADH-nitrate reductase (NR) activity in plants heterozygous for two different nia alleles was lower than in the wild type plant, but the plants were able to grow on nitrate as a sole nitrogen source. NR activity, absent in extracts of homozygous nia mutants was restored by mixing extracts from two complementing nia mutants. These observations suggest that NR intragenic complementation results from either the formation of heteromeric NR or from the interaction between two modified enzymes. Complementation was only observed between mutants retaining different partial catalytic activities of the enzyme. Results are in agreement with molecular data suggesting the presence of three catalytic domains in the subunit of the enzyme.