• Adenylates;
  • cotyledon;
  • electron transport;
  • Glvcine max;
  • mitochondria;
  • nodules;
  • respiratory control;
  • soybean

The aim was to test the hypothesis that rotenone-insensive electron transport (bypass of complex I) may underlie rapid state 4 (ADP-limited) mitochondrial respiration. A comparison of mitochondria from soybean (Glycine max L. cv. Bragg) cotyledons and nodules showed that ADP-sufficient (state 3) malate plus pyruvate oxidation by mitochondria from 7-day-old cotyledons was inhibited 50% by rotenone and state 4 rates were rapid, whereas nodule mitochondria were 80% inhibited by rotenone and had slower state 4 rates of malate plus pyruvate oxidation. Respiration of malate alone (pH 7.6) by cotyledon mitochondria was slow, especially in the absence of ADP; subsequent addition of pyruvate dramatically increased state 4 oxygen uptake concomitant with a rapid rise in mitochondrial NADH (determined by fluorimetry). Rotenone had no effect on this increased rate of state 4 respiration. The rate of malate oxidation by nodule mitochondria was relatively rapid compared with cotyledon mitochondria. The addition of pyruvate in state 4 caused a slow increase in matrix NADH and only a slight stimulation of oxygen uptake. Rotenone inhibited state 4 malate plus pyruvate oxidation by 50% in these mitochondria. From a large number of cotyledon and nodule mitochondrial preparations, a close correlation was found between the rate of state 4 oxygen uptake and rotenone-resistance. During cotyledon development increased rotenone-resistance was associated with an increase in the alternative oxidase. Addition of pyruvate to cotyledon mitochondria, during state 4 oxidation of malate in the presence of antimycin A, significantly stimulated O2 uptake and also almost eliminated respiratory control. Such combined operation of the rotenone-insensitive bypass and the alternative oxidase in vivo will significantly affect the extent to which adenylates control the rate of electron transport.