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Aluminium accumulation in root cell walls coincides with inhibition of root growth but not with inhibition of magnesium uptake in Norway spruce



Aluminium accumulation in root cell walls coincides with inhibition of root growth but not with inhibition of magnesium uptake in Norway spruce



Physiologia Plantarum 102(4): 553-560



High levels of aluminium in the soil solution of forest soils cause stress to forest trees. Within the soil profile, pH and aluminium concentration in the soil solution vary considerably with soil depth. pH strongly influences the speciation of Al in solution, and is a factor when considering toxicity of Al to roots. Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) seedlings were grown for 7 weeks in nutrient solutions at pH 3.2, 4.0 or 5.0 containing 0, 100 or 400 muM Al. At the end of this period, seedling growth, the cation exchange capacity of the roots and the amount of exchangeable Ca and Mg in roots were determined. Al concentrations in whole roots, root segments, and in needles were measured. Using X-ray microanalysis, the concentrations of Al, Ca, Mg and P were determined in cortical cell walls. We wanted to test the hypotheses that (1) the amount of Al bound to cation exchange sites can be used as a marker for Al toxicity and (2) the Mg concentration of needles is controlled by the amount of Mg bound to cation exchange sites. Low pH reduced the inhibition of Al on root growth and shoot length. Both low pH and Al lowered the concentration of Ca and Mg in needles. Al concentrations in the roots decreased as the pH decreased. In the roots, Al displaced Mg and Ca from binding sites at the root cortical cell walls. A comparison of the effects of Al at the different pH values on root growth and Mg concentration in the needles, suggests that, at pH 5.0, an Al fraction in the apoplast inhibits root growth, but does not affect Mg uptake. This fraction of Al is not available for transport to the shoots. In contrast, Mg uptake is strongly affected by Al at pH 3.2, although only very low levels of Al were detected in the roots. Thus, Al accumulation in the apoplast is a positive marker for Al effects on root growth, but not Mg uptake. The Mg concentration of needles is not controlled by the amount of Mg bound to cation exchange sites.

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Accession: 003036159

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DOI: 10.1034/j.1399-3054.1998.1020410.x


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