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

Effects of Nitrogen Nutrition on Electron Transport Components and Photosynthesis in Spinach

JR Evans and I Terashima

Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 14(1) 59 - 68
Published: 1987


Spinach plants (Spinacia oleracea L.) were grown in hydroponic culture in a glasshouse under full sunlight. They were supplied with different concentrations of nitrate nitrogen in solution, ranging from 1 to 12 mM, in order to produce leaves with different nitrogen contents. Oxygen evolution at CO2 saturation was measured as a function of absorbed irradiance in leaf discs with an oxygen electrode. Electron transport activities, reaction centre densities, cytochrome f and plastoquinone contents, RuP2 carboxylase and coupling factor activities and soluble protein content were measured in similar material. Although nitrogen and chlorophyll contents per unit leaf area were reduced by 60% by nitrogen deficiency, when expressed on a chlorophyll basis, thylakoid components, electron transport activities and the rate of oxygen evolution at CO2 saturation were similar between nitrogen treatments. In contrast, the content of soluble protein and RuP2 carboxylase expressed on a chlorophyll basis was greater the greater the nitrogen content per unit leaf area. Therefore the ratio of RuP2 carboxylase activity to electron transport activity increased in leaves having greater nitrogen content.

© CSIRO 1987

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