Localization of carbonic anhydrase in legume nodules


Correspondence: CraigAtkins. Fax: +61 89 380 1001; e-mail: catkins@cyllene.uwa.edu.au


Extracts of the central infected zone and the surrounding cortex of nodules from Lupinus angustifolius L., Vigna unguiculata L. (Walp), Pisum sativum L., Phaseolus vulgaris L., Vicia faba L. and Medicago sativa L. contained significant activities of carbonic anhydrase (CA). Immunoassay of extracts using antisera to a putative nodule CA (Msca1) cloned from M. sativa also indicated expression in both tissue types. Quantitative confocal microscopy using laser scanning imaging and a fluorescent CA-specific probe (5-dimethylaminonaphthalene-1-sulfonamide [DNSA]) localized expression to the infected cells in the central zone tissue and a narrow band of 2–3 files of cells in the cortical tissue that corresponded to the inner cortex. In the infected cells, the enzyme activity was distributed evenly in the cytosol, but in the inner cortical cells, it was restricted to the periphery – possibly to the plasma membrane or cell wall. The functions of CA in these two tissues are considered in relation to the carbon metabolism of nodules and the participation of the inner cortex in the regulation of gaseous diffusive resistance.