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K:Mg impact on rubisco activity and sugar metabolism in legume plants: challenges of NADH-linked microtiter plate-based and 14C-based assays

Grant number: 22/03685-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2022
Effective date (End): December 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Soil Science
Principal Investigator:André Rodrigues dos Reis
Grantee:Nandhara Angélica Carvalho Mendes
Supervisor: Ana Elisabete do Carmo Silva
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Engenharia. Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Tupã. Tupã , SP, Brazil
Research place: Lancaster University, England  
Associated to the scholarship:20/16177-0 - K:Mg combination in Rubisco's activity, photosynthetic metabolism, antioxidant and relationships with coffee productivity, BP.MS


Magnesium (Mg) is part of the chlorophyll molecule and plays an important physiological role as an enzymatic activator of rubisco. However, Mg is known as a forgotten element due to the scarcity of research regarding the nutritional and physiological role of Mg in plants. In addition, Mg is found at low concentrations in the soil of tropical areas, possibly resulting from anthropogenic activities, such as the inadequate oversupply of potassium (K) fertilizers. Potassium is an essential element for plants; however, high K concentration soil application can induce antagonism with Mg uptake by plants causing an imbalance in the K:Mg ratio dramatically decreasing crop yield. This study hypothesizes that K:Mg ratio drastically affect rubisco activation sites in cowpea and soybean plants, leading to lower synthesis and translocation of sugars (sucrose, glucose, fructose, mannitol, and sorbitol) from the source (leaves) to the drains (roots and nodules), negatively affecting nodulation and biological nitrogen fixation. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate the effect of K:Mg combination on rubisco activity using different techniques like NADH-linked microtiter plate-based and 14C-based assays to precisely determine the activation state of rubisco. Relations with biological nitrogen fixation (nitrogen compounds), photosynthetic metabolism and productivity of legume plants will also be analyzed. (AU)

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