Inducing gravitropic curvature of primary roots of Zea mays cv ageotropic

Randy Moore, Michael L. Evans, W. Mark Fondren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Primary roots of the mutant 'Ageotropic' cultivar of Zea mays are nonresponsive to gravity. Their root caps secrete little or no mucilage and touch the root only at the extreme apex. A gap separates the cap and root at the periphery of the cap. Applying mucilage from normal roots or substances with a consistency similar to that of mucilage to tips of mutant roots causes these roots to become strongly graviresponsive. Gravicurvature stops when these substances are removed. Caps of some mutants secrete small amounts of mucilage and are graviresponsive. These results indicate that (a) the lack of graviresponsiveness in the mutant results from disrupting the transport pathway between the cap and root, (b) movement of the growth-modifying signal from the cap to the root occurs via an apoplastic pathway, and (c) mucilage is necessary for normal communication between the root cap and root in Zea mays cv Ageotropic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-315
Number of pages6
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1990


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