Nitrogen (N) is the nutrient most limiting plant growth, especially in agriculturÂ al systems (34, 47). Plants normally acquire N from the soil in inorganic form (nitrate or ammonium). In the absence of an adequate supply of available soil N, certain leguminous and actinorhizal species are capable of forming a 0066-4294/86/0601-0539$02.00 SCHUBERT symbiotic association with Nz-fixing microorganisms. Through this symbiosis, the plant is able to obtain part or all of the N required for plant growth from its symbiotic partner. In return, the plant provides photoassimilates to support the growth and function of the nodule, the symbiotic organ of the plant containing the Nrfixing bacteria. This review, which is not intended to be comprehensive, focuses on the synthesis, transport, and metabolism of the products of N2 fixation. We begin with an overview of this exchange of reduced carbon and nitrogen from a whole plant perspective. THE EXCHANGE OF REDUCED CARBON AND NITROGEN: AN OVERVIEW The formation and function of the symbiotic association between legumes and Rhizobium or actinorhizal species and the actinomycete Frankia involve a for elaborate genetic and biochemical control mechanisms. Because of the importance of N2-fixing plants to agriculture, forestry, and the global N cycle, efforts
Annual Review of Plant Biology – Annual Reviews
Published: Jun 1, 1986
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