Journal Article

Effect of the expression of cyanamide hydratase on metabolites in cyanamide-treated soybean plants kept in the light or dark

Alexander Ulanov and Jack M. Widholm

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 58, issue 15-16, pages 4319-4332
Published in print December 2007 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online December 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:

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Metabolite profiling of untransformed and cyanamide hydratase- (Cah) transformed (denoted 1C) soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merrill) leaves revealed only small differences in plants grown in the greenhouse or in the dark for 24 h, indicating that the Cah enzyme that converts cyanamide to urea has no substrates in soybean leaves and does not affect metabolism. Untransformed leaves sprayed with 0.5% cyanamide developed necrotic lesions within 2 h in the light but not in the dark. The sprayed 1C leaves showed little visible damage and accumulated high concentrations of urea, amino acids, and some sugars, but sucrose decreased over a 24 h period. The untransformed necrotic leaves also accumulated some urea and amino acids apparently due to cyanamide degradation, while sucrose and some organic acids decreased. Sprayed 1C leaves in the dark for 24 h contained very little urea and lower sugar levels. The untransformed sprayed leaves accumulated some organic acids, some sugars including sucrose, and urea and total amino acids. Unsprayed plants of both lines placed in the dark for 24 h showed increases in some amino acids and phosphate, and decreases in other amino acids, sugars, and organic acids. Thus the Cah enzyme can detoxify cyanamide by conversion to urea that is converted to amino acids. Other metabolic changes associated with leaf necrosis and darkness are also described. Principal component analysis confirmed the similarities and differences observed. Comparison of the GC-MS metabolic profiling analysis of amino acids with a dedicated system shows large differences, indicating a limitation of the former system.

Keywords: Cyanamide; cyanamide hydratase; metabolic profiling; plant dark response; plant necrotic response; soybean; urea

Journal Article.  5433 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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