Biochemistry, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



Plant Physiol. (1991) 95, 551-555


Copyright American Society of Plant Biologists. Used by permission.


Nicotinate has been postulated to interfere with the binding of O2 to ferrous leghemoglobin in soybean (Glycine max) root nodules. For such a function, the levels of nicotinate in nodules must be sufficiently high to bind a significant amount of leghemoglobin. We have measured levels of nicotinate, nicotinamide, and leghemoglobin in soybean nodules from plants 34 to 73 days after planting in a glasshouse. On a per gram nodule fresh weight basis, levels between 10.4 and 21 nanomoles for nicotinate, 19.2 and 37.8 nanomoles for nicotinamide, and 170 to 280 nanomoles for leghemoglobin were measured. Even if all the nicotinate were bound to ferrous leghemoglobin, only 11% or less of the total leghemoglobin would be unavailable for binding O2- Using the measured levels of nicotinate and a pH of 6.8 in the cytosol of presenescent soybean nodules, we estimate that the proportion of ferrous leghemoglobin bound to nicotinate in such nodules would be less than 1%. These levels of nicotinate are too low to interfere with the reaction between ferrous leghemoglobin and O2 in soybean root nodules.