We used quantitative electron-probe energy-dispersive x-ray microanalysis to localize endogenous Na, Cl, K, P, S, Mg and Ca in cryofixed and freeze-dried cryosections of the cap (i.e. the putative site of graviperception) and elongating zone (i.e. site of gravicurvature) of horizontally oriented roots of Zea mays. Ca, Na, Cl, K and Mg accumulate along the lower side of caps of horizontally oriented roots. The most dramatic asymmetries of these ions occur in the apoplast, especially the mucilage. We could not detect any significant differences in the concentrations of these ions in the central cytoplasm of columella cells along the upper and lower sides of caps of horizontally-oriented roots. However, the increased amounts of Na, Cl, K and Mg in the longitudinal walls of columella cells along the lower side of the cap suggest that these ions may move down through the columella tissue of horizontally-oriented roots. Ca also accumulates (largely in the mucilage) along the lower side of the elongating zone of horizontally-oriented roots, while Na, P, Cl and K tend to accumulate along the upper side of the elongating zone. Of these ions, only K increases in concentration in the cytoplasm and longitudinal walls of cortical cells in the upper vs lower sides of the elongating zone. These results indicate that (1) gravity-induced asymmetries of ions differ significantly in the cap and elongating zone of graviresponding roots, (2) Ca accumulates along the lower side of the cap and elongating zone of graviresponding roots, (3) increased growth of the upper side of the elongating zone of horizontally-oriented roots correlates positively with increased amounts of K in the cytoplasm and longitudinal walls of cortical cells, and (4) the apoplast (especially the mucilage) may be an important component of the pathway via which ions move in graviresponding rots of Zea mays. These results are discussed relative to mechanisms for graviperception and gravicurvature of roots.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Annals of Botany|
|State||Published - Jun 1 1987|
- Gravitropism (root)
- X-ray microanalysis
- Zea mays