Relation between Glutamine Synthetase and Nitrogenase Activities in the Symbiotic Association between Rhizobium japonicum and Glycine max.


The activity and extent of adenylylation of glutamine synthetase was examined in both free-living and bacteroid forms of Rhizobium japonicum in the presence of excess ammonia. Ammonia caused an apparent repression of glutamine synthetase in free-living R. japonicum and adenylylation of the enzyme was also increased. In contrast, neither the activity nor the extent of adenylylation of the bacteroid enzyme was consistently affected by ammonium treatment of bacteroid suspensions. Similar results were obtained after ammonium treatment of soybean plants even though nitrogenase activity was reduced markedly. We have been unable to demonstrate ammonium repression of nitrogenase activity in R. japonicum-Glycine max symbiotic association that is mediated through bacteroid glutamine synthetase. This result is in contrast to the situation in nitrogen-fixing strains of Klebsiella where a role of glutamine synthetase in the regulation of nitrogenase has been reported.


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