Anaerobic nitrate and ammonium metabolism in flood-tolerant rice coleoptiles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


The tolerance of germinating rice seedlings to anaerobiosis cannot be fully accounted for by ethanolic fermentation alone. Nitrate metabolism (nitrate reduction to NH4+ plus its subsequent assimilation) may provide an additional sink mechanism for excess protons and NADH produced during anaerobiosis. To follow the fate of nitrate, 15N-labelled nitrate and ammonium incorporation in aerobic and anaerobic rice coleoptiles was examined using 15N-edited 1H NMR and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry methods. After 22 h of treatments, protein-free Ala, Glu, Gln, and γ-amino-butyrate were the main 15N-labelled products for both nitrate and ammonium-treated anaerobic rice coleoptiles, with Gln, Glu, and Ala being the most enriched. The total amount of 15N label incorporation into Ala and GAB increased significantly in response to anaerobiosis. The 15N-labelling pattern of Glu and Gln suggests that the GS/GOGAT system was primarily involved in ammonium assimilation whereas Glu dehydrogenase may play a role in nitrate assimilation. 15N incorporation into protein-derived amino acids was also significant and was more substantial in anaerobic than in aerobic rice coleoptiles, which indicate that protein biosynthesis remained active in anaerobic rice coleoptiles. Thus, anaerobic assimilation of inorganic N into amino acids, particularly Ala and Glu/GAB, may serve to supplement ethanolic fermentation in sustaining glycolysis and energy production in rice coleoptiles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1655-1666
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number314
StatePublished - Sep 1997


  • Ammonium assimilation
  • Anaerobiosis
  • N tracer
  • Nitrate metabolism
  • Rice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Anaerobic nitrate and ammonium metabolism in flood-tolerant rice coleoptiles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this