Local inhibition of nitrogen fixation and nodule metabolism in drought-stressed soybean
Díaz Leal, Juan Luis
Alamillo, Josefa M.
Pineda Priego, Manuel
González, Esther M.
Editor/esOxford University Press
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Drought stress is a major factor limiting symbiotic nitrogen fixation (NF) in soybean crop production. However, the regulatory mechanisms involved in this inhibition are still controversial. Soybean plants were symbiotically grown in a split-root system (SRS), which allowed for half of the root system to be irrigated at field capacity while the other half remained water deprived. NF declined in the water-deprived root system while nitrogenase activity was maintained at control values in the well-watered half. Concomitantly, amino acids and ureides accumulated in the water-deprived belowground organs regardless of transpiration rates. Ureide accumulation was found to be related to the decline in their degradation activities rather than increased biosynthesis. Finally, proteomic analysis suggests that plant carbon metabolism, protein synthesis, amino acid metabolism, and cell growth are among the processes most altered in soybean nodules under drought stress. Results presented here support the hypothesis of a local regulation of NF taking place in soybean and downplay the role of ureides in the inhibition of NF.