Microsurgical removal of epidermal and cortical cells: evidence that the gravitropic signal moves through the outer cell layers in primary roots of maize

Rick L. Yang, Michael L. Evans, Randy Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is general agreement that during root gravitropism some sort of growth-modifying signal moves from the cap to the elongation zone and that this signal ultimately induces the curvature that leads to reorientation of the root. However, there is disagreement regarding both the nature of the signal and the pathway of its movement from the root cap to the elongation zone. We examined the pathway of movement by testing gravitropism in primary roots of maize (Zea mays L.) from which narrow (0.5 mm) rings of epidermal and cortical tissue were surgically removed from various positions within the elongation zone. When roots were girdled in the apical part of the elongation zone gravitropic curvature occurred apical to the girdle but not basal to the girdle. Filling the girdle with agar allowed curvature basal to the girdle to occur. Shallow girdles, in which only two or three cell layers (epidermis plus one or two cortical cell layers) were removed, prevented or greatly delayed gravitropic curvature basal to the girdle. The results indicate that the gravitropic signal moves basipetally through the outermost cell layers, perhaps through the epidermis itself.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)530-536
Number of pages7
JournalPlanta
Volume180
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 1990

Keywords

  • Auxin and gravitropism
  • Gravitropism (signal transmission
  • Root (gravitropism)
  • Zea (gravitropism)

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