SUMMARY: Bacteroids isolated from alfalfa nodules induced by 102F34 transported glycine betaine at a constant rate for up to 30 min. Addition of sodium salts greatly increased the uptake activity, whereas other salts or non-electrolytes had less effect. The apparent for glycine betaine uptake was 8.3 μM and was about 0.84 nmol min (mg protein) in the presence of 200 mM-NaCl which gave maximum stimulation of the transport. Supplementing bacteroid suspensions with various energy-yielding substrates, or ATP, did not increase glycine betaine uptake rates. The uncoupler carbonyl cyanide -chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP), and the respiratory inhibitor potassium cyanide strongly inhibited glycine betaine uptake, but arsenate was totally inactive. Glycine betaine transport showed considerable structural specificity: choline, proline betaine, γ-butyrobetaine and trigonelline did not competitively inhibit the system, although choline and proline betaine were transported by bacteroids. Both a high-affinity activity and a low-affinity activity were found for choline uptake. These osmoprotective compounds might have a significant role in the maintenance of nitrogenase activity in bacteroids subjected to salt stress.


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