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The use of lanthanum to delineate the aluminium signalling mechanisms functioning in the roots of Zea mays L

Environmental & Experimental Botany 32(4): 365-376
The use of lanthanum to delineate the aluminium signalling mechanisms functioning in the roots of Zea mays L
Controlled environment studies involving the treatment of intact roots with Al (5mg/dm-3) and La-3+ (25 mg/dm-3) have identified some notable similarities in the early reactions by primary roots to these ions. These included root growth inhibition, changes in cap size and construction as well as a marked decline in cap secretory activity. The effects of La-3+ nevertheless appeared to be less damaging to the root than comparable Al treatments (shorter lag periods and faster growth rates). Moreover, roots subjected to "continuous" La-3+ treatments resumed growth with times gtoreq 6 days whereas roots subjected to "continuous" Al treatment did not. These similarities and differences in the response of root cells to La-3+ and Al are discussed with a view to the possible development of La-3+ as an ultrastructural tracer for Al. Roots which had previously been treated with La-3+ or Al but which received Ca-2+ during the recovery phase resumed growth during the course of the experiment (8 days). In contrast Ca-2+ deprivation of roots initially subjected to Al or La-3+ treatments delayed and in some cases prevented recovery. The effects of Ca-2+ deprivation on the stages involved in recovery are discussed in relation to identifying an external (apoplasmic) Ca-2+ requirement which influences the activity of the root cap and mediates the reversal of growth inhibition attributed to the effects of La-3+ and Al. The requirement for an exogenous Ca-2+ supply is combined with data pertaining to Al- and La-3+-induced ultrastructural changes in the apoplasm of peripheral root cap cells to identify components of a stimulus-response system functioning in the root which is responsive to La-3+ and Al. Changes in La-3+- and Al-treated roots deprived of Ca-2+ during recovery also coincided with a re-orientation of shoot growth. These effects are considered in relation to a possible external requirement, by the root, for Ca-2+ which interacts with an endogenous programme involved in modulating shoot expansion and development.

Accession: 002530409

DOI: 10.1016/0098-8472(92)90049-8

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