Composition and Distribution of Adenylates in Soybean (Glycine max L.) Nodule Tissue.


Adenylates (ATP, ADP, and AMP) may play a central role in the regulation of the O2-limited C and N metabolism of soybean nodules. To be able to interpret measurements of adenylate levels in whole nodules and to appreciate the significance of observed changes in adenylates associated with changes in O2-limited metabolism, methods were developed for measuring in vivo levels of adenylate pools in the cortex, plant central zone, and bacteroid fractions of soybean (Glycine max L. Merr cv Maple Arrow x Bradyrhizobium japonicum strain USDA 16) nodules. Intact nodulated roots were either frozen in situ by flushing with prechilled Freon-113(-156[deg]C) or by rapidly (<1 s) uprooting plants and plunging them into liquid N2. The adenylate energy charge (AEC = [ATP + 0.5 x ADP]/[ATP + ADP + AMP]) of whole-nodule tissue (0.65 [plus or minus] 0.01, n = 4) was low compared to that of subtending roots (0.80 [plus or minus] 0.03, n = 4), a finding indicative of hypoxic metabolism in nodules. The cortex and central zone tissues were dissected apart in lyophilized nodules, and AEC values were 0.84 [plus or minus] 0.04 and 0.61 [plus or minus] 0.03, respectively. Although the total adenylate pool in the lyophilized nodules was only 41% of that measured in hydrated tissues, the AEC values were similar, and the lyophilized nodules were assumed to provide useful material for assessing adenylate distribution. The nodule cortex contained 4.4% of whole-nodule adenylates, with 95.6% being located in the central zone. Aqueous fractionation of bacteroids from the plant fraction of whole nodules and the use of marker enzymes or compounds to correct for recovery of bacteroids and cross-contamination of the bacteroid and plant fractions resulted in estimates that 36.2% of the total adenylate pool was in bacteroids, and 59.4% was in the plant fraction of the central zone. These are the first quantitative assessments of adenylate distribution in the plant and bacteroid fractions of legume nodules. These estimates were combined with theoretical calculations of rates of ATP consumption in the cortex (9.5 nmol g-1 fresh weight of nodule s-1), plant central zone (38 nmol g-1 fresh weight of nodule s-1), and bacteroids (62 nmol g-1 fresh weight of nodule s-1) of soybean nodules to estimate the time constants for turnover of the total adenylate pool and the ATP pool within each nodule fraction. The low values for time constant (1.6-5.8 s for total adenylate, 0.9-2.5 s for ATP only) in each fraction reflect the high metabolic activity of soybean nodules and provide a background for further studies of the role of adenylates in O2-limited nodule metabolism.

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