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Behavior of pea nodulation mutants as affected by increasing nitrate level

, : Behavior of pea nodulation mutants as affected by increasing nitrate level. Symbiosis 15(3): 195-206

Nodule number and size, acetylene-reducing activity, leghemoglobin content in nodules, and nitrogen content in the shoot were measured in pea symbiotic mutants inoculated with Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viceae strain 128C30 and cultivated on a range of nitrate levels in rooting medium. The abundantly nodulating mutants RisfixC and RisfixV, and the ineffective mutant RisfixO were compared to the parental cultivar 'Finale'. RisfixO displayed nodule initiation and nodule growth suppression similar to the wild-type plants, indicating that nodule effectiveness is not substantial for both endogenous and nitrate regulation of modulation. RisfixC was seen to produce effective and nitrate-resistant modulation in abundance, confirming its classification as a new supernodulating pea mutant. The nitrate resistance was apparent not only in nodule initiation, but also in nodule growth and specific nitrogenase activity. Shoot nitrogen content was markedly increased in RisfixC, indicating carbohydrate depletion or a regulatory fault. Nodulation in RisfixV was abundant like in RisfixC, but the nodules possessed only traces of nitrogenase activity, and their number sharply diminished with nitrate level increase. The small and nitrate-independent size of RisfixV nodules suggests that their development had been arrested before nitrate level affected nodule growth. The hypernodulation of RisfixV is supposed to result from the early deterioration of nodules of this mutant, which releases the suppression of further nodule initiation by the established nodules.

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