Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Nitrogen resorption and protein degradation during leaf senescence in Chenopodium album grown in different light and nitrogen conditions

Yuko Yasumura A B D , Kouki Hikosaka A and Tadaki Hirose A C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University, 6-3 Aoba, Aramaki, Sendai 980-8578, Japan.

B Current address: Department of Plant Ecology, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI), Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8687, Japan.

C Current address: Department of International Agriculture Development, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Sakuragaoka 1-1-1, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 156-8502, Japan.

D Corresponding author. Email: yukes@affrc.go.jp

Functional Plant Biology 34(5) 409-417 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP06307
Submitted: 17 November 2006  Accepted: 14 March 2007   Published: 17 May 2007

Abstract

The extent of nitrogen (N) resorption and the degradability of different protein pools were examined in senescing leaves of an annual herb, Chenopodium album L., grown in two light and N conditions. Both N resorption efficiency (REFF; the proportion of green-leaf N resorbed) and proficiency (RPROF; the level to which leaf N content is reduced by resorption) varied among different growth conditions. During leaf senescence, the majority of soluble and membrane proteins was degraded in all growth conditions. Structural proteins were also highly degradable, implying that no particular protein pool constitutes a non-retranslocatable N pool in the leaf. Leaf carbon/N ratio affected the timing and duration of senescing processes, but it did not regulate the extent of protein degradation or N resorption. Sink–source relationships for N in the plant exerted a more direct influence, depressing N resorption when N sink strength was weakened in the low-light and high-N condition. N resorption was, however, not enhanced in high-light and low-N plants with the strongest N sinks, possibly because it reached an upper limit at some point. We conclude that a combination of several physiological factors determines the extent of N resorption in different growth conditions.

Additional keywords: C/N ratio, membrane protein, sink–source relationships, soluble protein, structural protein.


Acknowledgements

We thank Mr K. Sato and Mr T. Ozaki for their assistance and three anonymous referees for their valuable comments. This work was supported by JSPS Research Fellowships for Young Scientists (YY) and Grants-in-Aid from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.


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