Effects of nickel on Frankia and its symbiosis with Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn

Wheeler-Jones, C.T., Hughes, L.T., Oldroyd, J. and Pulford, I.D. (2001) Effects of nickel on Frankia and its symbiosis with Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn. Plant and Soil, 231, pp. 81-90.

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The tolerance of nickel by Frankia in culture and in symbiosis with Alnus was determined. Yield of three Frankia strains was not affected significantly by 2.25 mM nickel when cultured in propionate medium containing hydolysed casein as nitrogen source. Yield of two strains in medium without combined nitrogen, and thus reliant on fixed nitrogen, was stimulated markedly by the same nickel concentration. Utilisation of nickel for synthesis of uptake hydrogenases is presumed to be the cause of enhanced nitrogenase activity. Although growth was reduced, treatment of 2-month-old seedlings with 0.025 mM nickel for 4 weeks did not affect nodulation significantly while nitrogenase activity was doubled. Nodulation and nitrogenase activity of seedlings receiving 0.075 mM nickel were inhibited markedly, while 0.5 mM nickel was lethal to all seedlings after 4 weeks of treatment. A few small, ineffective nodules were initiated early on some of the latter seedlings, suggesting that effects of nickel on host plant processes rather than Frankia are the primary cause of inhibition of nodulation. This interpretation is supported by the retention of substantial nitrogenase activity in 10-month-old plants 1 day after the treatment with 0.59 mM nickel, when the nickel content of roots and nodules was already maximal. No nitrogenase activity was detected after 3 days, by which time the leaves were almost completely necrotic. Over a 4 day period, most nickel was retained in the roots and nodules. Supplying histidine simultaneously at concentrations equal to, or in excess of, nickel prevented wilting and leaf necrosis, but did not increase translocation of nickel to the shoot.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pulford, Dr Ian and Wheeler-Jones, Dr Caroline
Authors: Wheeler-Jones, C.T., Hughes, L.T., Oldroyd, J., and Pulford, I.D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
Journal Name:Plant and Soil
Publisher:Kluwer Academic Publishers
ISSN (Online):1573-3036

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