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Correlations between the ascorbate-glutathione pathway and effectiveness in legume root nodules

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Abstract

Legume root nodules use the ascorbate-glutathione pathway to remove harmful H2O2. In the present study. effective and ineffective nodules from soybean and alfalfa were compared with regard to this pathway. Effective nodules had higher activity of all 4 enzymes (ascorbate peroxidase, EC 1. 11. 1. 11: monodehydroascorbate reductase, EC 1. 6. 5. 4: dehydroascorbate reductase, EC 1. 8. 5. 1: and glutathione reductase, EC 1. 6. 4. 2). The concentration of thiol tripeptides (primarily homoglutathione) was about 1 mM in effective nodules – a level 3–4-fold higher than in ineffective nodules. Effective nodules contained higher levels of NAD+. NADP+ and NADPH. but not of NADH or ascorbate. The increased capacity for peroxide scavenging in effective nodules as compared to ineffective nodules emphasizes the important protective role that this pathway may play in processes related to nitrogen fixation.

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