Homeostatic and Oscillatory Mechanisms in Plant and Fungal Nitrate Assimilation

Peter Ruoff (October 27, 2010)

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Homeostatic control mechanisms are essential to keep cells and organisms fit in a changing and challenging environment. An important task is to identify the factors which contribute to the functionality and robustness of homeostatic mechanisms in the presence of environmental perturbations. Kinetic conditions which lead to robust homeostasis and perfect adaptation together with their oscillatory behaviors are described. Analysis of the pathways for nitrate assimilation in plants and Neurospora suggest a homeostatic and oscillatory mechanism for the level of nitrate, apparently to keep the oxidative stress induced by nitrate and nitrate reductase under control during day/night cycles.