Passive transport of ions and metabolites across the peribacteroid membrane (PBM) was investigated on symbiosome preparations isolated from the broad bean (Vicia faba L.) root nodules and suspended in a potassium-free medium. Optical density of the symbiosome suspension at 546 nm was monitored as an indicator of light-scattering changes. Depolarization of the PBM with tetraphenylphosphonium cation (TPP+) caused an increase in light scattering of symbiosome suspension. This effect was enhanced after adding a K+ ionophore valinomycin to the incubation medium. A similar effect was observed after supplementing the symbiosome suspension with nigericin, a K+/H+ antiporter. Similar experiments on bacteroid suspensions prepared from isolated symbiosomes did not reveal any appreciable changes in light scattering in the presence of the same membrane-active substances. The light scattering by symbiosome suspensions decreased after adding malate or succinate, while the subsequent addition of centimolar concentrations of K+ substantially accelerated this process. Light scattering by the symbiosome suspension was insensitive to the addition of glutamate, a substance normally impermeant through the PBM of legume root nodules. These results suggest that the changes in light scattering by symbiosomes reflect the osmotically induced changes of symbiosome volume. These volume changes were assigned to alteration of the peribacteroid space (PBS). The incubation of symbiosomes in a potassium-free medium acidified their the PBS; this acidification was accelerated by valinomycin, carbonyl cyanide p-(trifluoromethoxy)phenylhydrazone (FCCP), and nigericin, and it was abolished in the presence of comparatively high concentrations of K+ in the incubation medium. The results indicate a relatively high permeability of the PBM to K+ ions.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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