Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: July 26, 2006
Publication Date: January 1, 2008
Citation: Vance, C.P. 2008. Carbon and Nitrogen Metabolism in Legume Nodules. In: Dilworth, M.J., James, E.K., Sprent, J.I., Newton, W.E., editors. Nitrogen-Fixing Leguminous Symbioses. Volume 7. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. p. 293-320. Technical Abstract: Symbiotic root nodules are in essence highly integrated factories for C utilization and N assimilation. Significant progress has been made in physical, biochemical, and molecular characterization of the primary enzymes involved in C utilization and amide N assimilation. Recent advances in genomic methods in Glycine and Phaseolus have opened the doors for similar progress to be made on many of the enzymes involved in legume ureide N metabolism. Our understanding of the biochemical and molecular components involved in root nodule N and C metabolism is growing at a logarithmic pace. However, we remain challenged in understanding how the plant and bacteria integrate and regulate information into a coherent model(s) that defines growth and development. Understanding how the integration of N and C is balanced between symbiont and host requires multidisciplinary approaches be encouraged and supported. Even more importantly, we will need to translate our advances at the fundamental level to plant improvement. The gen-, prote-, metabol-, and transcript- omics era will give unimaginable insights into symbiotic N2 fixation. However, to utilize these insights and improve the well being of humankind through food security and nutrition will require exceptional communication as well as exceptional science.