Aspects of assimilation and accumulation of nitrate in some cultivated plants

A. Darwinkel

    Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


    In a study on the accumulation of nitrate nitrogen in plants, turnip, rape, oats, Italian ryegrass, Westerwolths ryegrass, carrot and spinach were used. During growth the production and distribution of dry matter and the contents of total N and NO <sub><font size="-1">3</font></sub> -N were measured. NO <sub><font size="-1">3</font></sub> accumulation occurs when the N uptake exceeds assimilation. The uptake was largely dependent on N supply and plant species, whereas the conversion was closely associated with production and distribution of dry matter. Leaf blades contain high organic N and low NO <sub><font size="-1">3</font></sub> concentrations. The activity of the nitrate reductase was mainly located in leaf blades. This activity was highest in a young immature leaf and was lower the older the leaf. Production of leaves affected the NO <sub><font size="-1">3</font></sub> conversion considerably. During the growth period a gradual decrease of the conversion took place per unit dry matter produced, because of a smaller demand for proteins. The total N content in the dry matter, above which NO <sub><font size="-1">3</font></sub> accumulation takes place, was high in a young plant, but decreased during growth, whereas an increasing part of the extra NO <sub><font size="-1">3</font></sub> absorbed accumulated simultaneously. Turnips accumulated most NO <sub><font size="-1">3</font></sub> , because of their high N uptake. Other plant species could also reach NO <sub><font size="-1">3</font></sub> levels that are toxic for cattle. In rape and Italian ryegrass this is caused by a high N uptake, in oats and carrot by a poor conversion.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • 't Hart, M.L., Promotor
    Award date24 Oct 1975
    Place of PublicationWageningen
    Print ISBNs9789022005866
    Publication statusPublished - 1975


    • nitrogen
    • assimilation


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