Senescence and nitrogen metabolism in annual plants

Feller, Urs; Keist, M. (1986). Senescence and nitrogen metabolism in annual plants. In: Lambers, H.; Neeteson, J.J; Stulen, I. (eds.) Fundamental, Ecological and Agricultural Aspects of Nitrogen Metabolism in Higher Plants. Developments in Plant and Soil Sciences: Vol. 19 (pp. 219-234). Netherlands: Springer 10.1007/978-94-009-4356-8_34

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This review covers the changes in the nitrogen metabolism during senescence of annual plants. The remobilization processes in senescing tissues are important for the N-economy in higher plants and allow the reutilization of nitrogen in growing plant parts (e.g. developing leaves, fruits and seeds). The nitrogen fluxes and the enzyme pattern change considerably during leaf senescence. The activity of enzymes involved in C-, N- and S-assimilation decreases, while catabolic enzymes reach their highest activities. Various metabolic activities, enzymes and structures are lost sequentially, indicating that senescence is a highly organized process. Iso- enzymes, located in various subcellular compartments, differ often in their time courses. For glutamine synthetase it is suggested that there are two forms differing in their suscepti- bilities to proteolytic inactivation. Chloroplast degradation is of special interest, since a high percentage of leaf nitrogen is present in these organelles. Recent investigations suggest that at least the initial steps in the breakdown of chlorophyll and chloroplast proteins occur in the intact organelles and not, as assumed earlier, in the vacuole. The question of how these cata- bolic processes may be regulated is raised again.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant nutrition [discontinued]
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Feller, Urs


500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)




Developments in Plant and Soil Sciences






Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

31 Jan 2018 11:01

Last Modified:

27 Oct 2019 11:18

Publisher DOI:


Additional Information:

Proceedings of a symposium organized by the Department of Plant Physiology, University of Groningen and the Institute for Soil Fertility, Haren, 09.–12. April 1985

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Chlorophyll breakdown; Enzymes; Nitrogen; Plant; Proteolysis; Remobilization; Senescence




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