Effects of tabtoxin on nitrogen metabolism

John G. Turner, Rihab R. Taha, Jill Debbage

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Tabtoxin is a chlorosis-inducing toxin produced by the plant pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas syringae pv. tabaci. Previous studies have indicated that tabtoxin inhibits glutamine synthetase (EC in vitro. We report here that tabtoxin also inhibits glutamine synthetase in vivo. The main evidence was that assimilation of exogenous 15NH3 into Asparagus sprengeri protein was rapidly inhibited in isolated cells exposed to tabtoxin. This was associated with an equivalent decline in glutamine synthetase activity in extracts of these cells and the accumulation of extracellular ammonia. Glutamine synthetase was also inhibited in leaves of Nicotiana tabacum L. cv. White Burley treated with tabtoxin and the affected tissue accumulated ammonia and became chlorotic. However, the development of symptoms and accumulation of ammonia was suppressed when the leaves were held in air containing 1% CO2 to reduce photorespiration. This indicates that the chlorotic symptom did not result from the inhibition of nitrogen assimilation but was a consequence of the interruption of the photorespiratory nitrogen cycle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-653
Number of pages5
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1986

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