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Carbon Metabolism in Developing Soybean Root Nodules: The Role of Carbonic Anhydrase

January 2000 , Volume 13 , Number  1
Pages  14 - 22

Nektarios Kavroulakis , Emanouil Flemetakis , Georgios Aivalakis , and Panagiotis Katinakis

Department of Agricultural Biotechnology Agricultural University of Athens, Iera odos 75, 11855 Athens, Greece

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Accepted 6 October 1999.

A full-length cDNA clone encoding carbonic anhydrase (CA) was isolated from a soybean nodule cDNA library. In situ hybridization and immunolocalization were performed in order to assess the location of CA transcripts and protein in developing soybean nodules. CA transcripts and protein were present at high levels in all cell types of young nodules, whereas in mature nodules they were absent from the central tissue and were concentrated in cortical cells. The results suggested that, in the earlier stages of nodule development, CA might facilitate the recycling of CO2 while at later stages it may facilitate the diffusion of CO2 out of the nodule system. In parallel, sucrose metabolism was investigated by examination of the temporal and spatial transcript accumulation of sucrose synthase (SS) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) genes, with in situ hybridization. In young nodules, high levels of SS gene transcripts were found in the central tissue as well as in the parenchymateous cells and the vascular bundles, while in mature nodules the levels of SS gene transcripts were much lower, with the majority of the transcripts located in the parenchyma and the pericycle cells of the vascular bundles. High levels of expression of PEPC gene transcripts were found in mature nodules, in almost all cell types, while in young nodules lower levels of transcripts were detected, with the majority of them located in parenchymateous cells as well as in the vascular bundles. These data suggest that breakdown of sucrose may take place in different sites during nodule development.

© 2000 The American Phytopathological Society