Influence of microgravity on cellular differentiation in root caps of Zea mays.

Randy Moore, W. M. Fondren, C. E. McClelen, C. L. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

We launched imbibed seeds of Zea mays into outer space aboard the space shuttle Columbia to determine the influence of microgravity on cellular differentiation in root caps. The influence of microgravity varied with different stages of cellular differentiation. Overall, microgravity tended to 1) increase relative volumes of hyaloplasm and lipid bodies, 2) decrease the relative volumes of plastids, mitochondria, dictyosomes, and the vacuome, and 3) exert no influence on the relative volume of nuclei in cells comprising the root cap. The reduced allocation of dictyosomal volume in peripheral cells of flight-grown seedlings correlated positively with their secretion of significantly less mucilage than peripheral cells of Earth-grown seedlings. These results indicate that 1) microgravity alters the patterns of cellular differentiation and structures of all cell types comprising the root cap, and 2) the influence of microgravity on cellular differentiation in root caps of Zea mays is organelle specific.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1006-1012
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Volume74
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1987
Externally publishedYes

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