A morphometric analysis of the redistribution of organelles in columella cells of horizontally-oriented roots of Zea mays

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Abstract

In order to determine what structural changes in graviperceptive cells are associated with the onset of root gravicurvature, the redistribution of organelles in columella cells of horizontally-oriented, graviresponding roots of Zea mays has been quantified. Root gravicurvature began by 15 min after reorientation, and did not involve significant changes in the (i) volume of individual columella cells or amyloplasts, (ii) relative volume of any cellular organelle, (iii) number of amyloplasts per columella cell, or (iv) surface area or cellular location of endoplasmic reticulum. Sedimentation of amyloplasts began within 1 to 2 min after reorientation, and was characterized by an intensely staining area of cytoplasm adjacent to the sedimenting amyloplasts. By 5 min after reorientation, amyloplasts were located in the lower distal corner of columella cells, and, by 15 min after reorientation, overlaid the entire length of the lower cell wall. No consistent contact between amyloplasts and any cellular structure was detected at any stage of gravicurvature. Centrally-located nuclei initially migrated upward in columella cells of horizontally-oriented roots, after which they moved to the proximal ends of the cells by 15 min after reorientation. No significant pattern of redistribution of vacuoles, mitochondra, dictyosomes, or hyaloplasm was detected that correlated with the onset of gravicurvature. These results indicate that amyloplasts and nuclei are the only organelies whose movements correlate positively with the onset of gravicurvature by primary roots of this cultivar of Zea mays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-131
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of Botany
Volume57
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1986

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the Space Biology Program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the University Research Committee of Baylor University. I thank Eddie McClelan for his capable technical assistance.

Keywords

  • Graviperception
  • Morphometry
  • Root gravitropism
  • Ultrastructure
  • Zea mays

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