Biomass enhancement in maize and soybean in response to glutamate dehydrogenase isomerization

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Biologia Plantarum


The relationship between nutrient composition, crop biomass, and glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) isoenzyme pattern was investigated in soybean (Glycine max) and maize (Zea mays) by monitoring the nutrient induced isomerization of the enzyme from the seedling stage to the mature crop. GDH was extracted from the leaves of the plants, and the isoenzymes were fractionated by isoelectric focusing followed by native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The isomerization Vmax values for soybean GDH, similar to maize GDH increased curvilinearly from 200 - 400 μmol mg-1 min-1 as the inorganic phosphate nutrient applied to the soil decreased from 50 - 0 mM. In soybean, combinations of N and K, P, or S nutrients induced the acidic and neutral isoenzymes, and gave biomass increases 25 - 50 % higher than the control plant. GDH isoenzymes were suppressed in soybean that received nutrients without N, K, or P and accordingly the biomass was about 30 % lower than the control. Treatment of maize with NPK nutrients increased the GDH V max values from 138.9 at the vegetative to 256.4 μmol mg -1 min-1 at the reproductive phase, and suppressed the basic isoenzymes, but induced both the acidic and neutral isoenzymes thereby inducing seed production (27.0 ± 1.4 g per plant); whereas both the acidic and basic isoenzymes were suppressed in the control maize, and seeds did not develop. Simultaneous induction of the acidic, neutral, and basic isoenzymes of GDH indicated the occurrence of senescence. Therefore in maize and soybean, the induction of the acidic and basic isoenzymes of GDH led to the enhancement of biomass.

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