Effects of Water Deficit Stress, Shade, Weed Competition, and Kaolin Particle Film on Selected Foliar Free Amino Acid Accumulations in Cotton, Gossypium hirsutum (L.)
- Allan T. Showler
- Journal of Chemical Ecology
Suspension cultured cells of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv VFNT Cherry) adapted to water stress induced with polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG), exhibit marked alterations in free amino acid pools (Handa et al. 1983 Plant Physiol 73: 834-843). Using computer simulation models the in vivo rates of synthesis and utilization and compartmentation of free amino acid pools were determined from (15)N labeling kinetics after substituting [(15)N]ammonium and [(15)N]nitrate for the (14)N salts in the culture medium of cell lines adapted to 0% and 25% PEG. The 300-fold elevated proline pool in 25% PEG adapted cells is primarily the consequence of a 10-fold elevated rate of proline synthesis via the glutamate pathway. Ornithine was insufficiently labeled to serve as a major precursor for proline. Our calculations suggest that the rate of proline synthesis only slightly exceeds the rate required to sustain both protein synthesis and proline pool maintenance with growth. Mechanisms must operate to restrict proline oxidation in adapted cells. The kinetics of labeling of proline in 25% PEG adapted cells are consistent with a single, greatly enlarged metabolic pool of proline. The depletion of glutamine in adapted cells appears to be a consequence of a selective depletion of a large, metabolically inactive storage pool present in unadapted cultures. The labeling kinetics of the amino nitrogen groups of glutamine and glutamate are consistent with the operation of the glutamine synthetase-glutamate synthase cycle in both cell lines. However, we could not conclusively discriminate between the exclusive operation of the glutamine synthetase-glutamate synthase cycle and a 10 to 20% contribution of the glutamate dehydrogenase pathway of ammonia assimilation. Adaptation to water stress leads to increased nitrogen flux from glutamate into alanine and gamma-aminobutyrate, suggesting increased pyruvate availability and increased rates of glutamate decarboxylation. Both alanine and gamma-aminobutyrate are synthesized at rates greatly in excess of those simply required to maintain the free pools with growth, indicating that these amino acids are rapidly turned over. Thus, both synthesis and utilization rates for alanine and gamma-aminobutyrate are increased in adapted cells. Adaptation to stress leads to increased rates of synthesis of valine and leucine apparently at the expense of isoleucine. Remarkably low (15)N flux via the aspartate family amino acids was observed in these experiments. The rate of synthesis of threonine appeared too low to account for threonine utilization in protein synthesis, pool maintenance, and isoleucine biosynthesis. It is possible that isoleucine may be deriving carbon skeletons from sources other than threonine. Tentative models of the nitrogen flux of these two contrasting cell lines are discussed in relation to carbon metabolism, osmoregulation, and nitrogenous solute compartmentation.