Defective secretion of mucilage is the cellular basis for agravitropism in primary roots of Zea mays cv. Ageotropic

Iain Miller, Randy Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Root caps of primary, secondary, and seminal roots of Z. mays cv. Kys secrete large amounts of mucilage and are in close contact with the root all along the root apex. These roots are strongly graviresponsive. Secondary and seminal roots of Z. mays cv. Ageotropic are also strongly graviresponsive. Similarly, their caps secrete mucilage and closely appress the root all along the root apex. However, primary roots of Z. mays cv. Ageotropic are non-responsive to gravity. Their caps secrete negligible amounts of mucilage and contact the root only at the extreme apex of the root along the calyptrogen. These roots become graviresponsive when their tips are coated with mucilage or mucilage-like materials. Peripheral cells of root caps of roots of Z. mays cv. Kys contain many dictyosomes associated with vesicles that migrate to and fuse with the plasmalemma. Root-cap cells of secondary and seminal (i.e. graviresponsive) roots of Z. mays cv. Ageotropic are similar to those of primary roots of Z. mays cv. Kys. However, root-cap cells of primary (i.e. non-graviresponsive) roots of Z. mays cv. Ageotropic have distended dictyosomal cisternae filled with an electron-dense, granular material. Large vesicles full of this material populate the cells and apparently do not fuse with the plasmalemma. Taken together, these results suggest that non-graviresponsiveness of primary roots of Z. mays cv. Ageotropic results from the lack of apoplastic continuity between the root and the periphery of the root cap. This is a result of negligible secretion of mucilage by cells along the edge of the root cap which, in turn, appears to be due to the malfunctioning of dictyosomes in these cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-178
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Botany
Volume66
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1990

Keywords

  • Corn
  • Dictyosomes
  • Mucilage
  • Root gravitropism
  • Zea mays cv. Ageotropic
  • Zea mays cv. Kys

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