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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2011-08-24
    Description: In this study we investigated the kinetics of the gravitropic response of the Arabidopsis mutant rgr1 (reduced root gravitropism). Although the rate of curvature in rgr1, which is allelic to axr4, was smaller than in the wild type (ecotype Wassilewskija), curvature was initiated in the same region of the root, the distal elongation zone. The time lag for the response was unaffected in the mutant; however, the gravitropic response of rgr1 contained a feature not found in the wild type: when roots growing along the surface of an agar plate were gravistimulated, there was often an upward curvature that initiated in the central elongation zone. Because this response was dependent on the tactile environment of the root, it most likely resulted from the superposition of the waving/coiling phenomenon onto the gravitropic response. We found that the frequency of the waving pattern and circumnutation, a cyclic endogenous pattern of root growth, was the same in rgr1 and in the wild type, so the waving/coiling phenomenon is likely governed by circumnutation patterns. The amplitudes of these oscillations may then be selectively amplified by tactile stimulation to provide a directional preference to the slanting.
    Keywords: Life Sciences (General)
    Type: Plant physiology (ISSN 0032-0889); Volume 118; 4; 1139-45
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2011-08-24
    Description: The study of gravitropism is hindered by the fact that as a root responds, the gravitational stimulus changes. Using a feedback system to connect a rotating stage platform to a video digitizer system, we were able to maintain a constant angle of gravistimulation to Arabidopsis roots for long time periods. The rate of curvature approximated the sine rule for angles of stimulation between 20 degrees and 120 degrees. For a given angle of stimulation, the rate of curvature also remained constant, with no observed diminishment of the response. Although previous reports of Arabidopsis root gravitropism suggest latent periods of approximately 30 min, using a smooth mechanical stage to reorient the root, we observed a mean time lag of approximately 10 min. This more rapid onset of curvature can, in part, be explained by reduced mechanical perturbation during the process of gravistimulation. This suggests that mechanical stimulation associated with rapid root re-orientation may confound investigations of early gravitropic events.
    Keywords: Life Sciences (General)
    Type: Plant physiology (ISSN 0032-0889); Volume 123; 2; 665-70
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2011-08-24
    Description: Although Arabidopsis is an important system for studying root physiology, the localized growth patterns of its roots have not been well defined, particularly during tropic responses. In order to characterize growth rate profiles along the apex of primary roots of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh (ecotype Columbia) we applied small charcoal particles to the root surface and analyzed their displacement during growth using an automated video digitizer system with custom software for tracking the markers. When growing vertically, the maximum elongation rate occurred 481 +/- 50 microns back from the extreme tip of the root (tip of root cap), and the elongation zone extended back to 912 +/- 137 microns. The distal elongation zone (DEZ) has previously been described as the apical region of the elongation zone in which the relative elemental growth rate (REGR) is 〈 or = 30% of the peak rate in the central elongation zone. By this definition, our data indicate that the basal limit of the DEZ was located 248 +/- 30 microns from the root tip. However, after gravistimulation, the growth patterns of the root changed. Within the first hour of graviresponse, the basal limit of the DEZ and the position of peak REGR shifted apically on the upper flank of the root. This was due to a combination of increased growth in the DEZ and growth inhibition in the central elongation zone. On the lower flank, the basal limit of the DEZ shifted basipetally as the REGR decreased. These factors set up the gradient of growth rate across the root, which drives curvature.
    Keywords: Life Sciences (General)
    Type: Planta (ISSN 0032-0935); Volume 206; 4; 598-603
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2011-08-24
    Description: Roots grown in an applied electric field demonstrate a bidirectional curvature. To further understand the nature of this response and its implications for the regulation of differential growth, we applied an electric field to roots growing in microgravity. We found that growth rates of roots in microgravity were higher than growth rates of ground controls. Immediately upon application of the electric field, root elongation was inhibited. We interpret this result as an indication that, in the absence of a gravity stimulus, the sensitivity of the root to an applied electric stimulus is increased. Further space experiments are required to determine the extent to which this sensitivity is shifted. The implications of this result are discussed in relation to gravitropic signaling and the regulation of differential cell elongation in the root.
    Keywords: Life Sciences (General)
    Type: Journal of plant research (ISSN 0918-9440); Volume 112; 1108; 493-6
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  • 5
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    Publication Date: 2011-08-24
    Description: The authors propose using the term "distal elongation zone" (DEZ) rather than "postmitotic isodiametric growth zone" to refer to the group of cells between the apical meristem and the elongation zone in plant roots. Reasons presented for the change are that the proposed DEZ includes many cells that are still dividing, most cells in the region are not isodiametric, and the pattern of cell expansion in this region varies with position in the region. Cells in the DEZ respond to gravistimulation, mechanical impedance, electrotropic stimulation, water stress, and auxin. Differences in gene expression patterns between DEZ cells and cells in the main elongation zone are noted.
    Keywords: Life Sciences (General)
    Type: Plant physiology (ISSN 0032-0889); Volume 109; 725-7
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: We examined the kinetics of electrotropic curvature in solutions of low electrolyte concentration using primary roots of maize (Zea mays L., variety Merit). When submerged in oxygenated solution across which an electric field was applied, the roots curved rapidly and strongly toward the positive electrode (anode). The strength of the electrotropic response increased and the latent period decreased with increasing field strength. At a field strength of 7.5 volts per centimeter the latent period was 6.6 minutes and curvature reached 60 degrees in about 1 hour. For electric fields greater than 10 volts per centimeter the latent period was less than 1 minute. There was no response to electric fields less than 2.8 volts per centimeter. Both electrotropism and growth were inhibited when indoleacetic acid (10 micromolar) was included in the medium. The auxin transport inhibitor pyrenoylbenzoic acid strongly inhibited electrotropism without inhibiting growth. Electrotropism was enhanced by treatments that interfere with gravitropism, e.g. decapping the roots or pretreating them with ethyleneglycol-bis-[beta-ethylether]-N,N,N',N' -tetraacetic acid. Similarly, roots of agravitropic pea (Pisum sativum, variety Ageotropum) seedlings were more responsive to electrotropic stimulation than roots of normal (variety Alaska) seedlings. The data indicate that the early steps of gravitropism and electrotropism occur by independent mechanisms. However, the motor mechanisms of the two responses may have features in common since auxin and auxin transport inhibitors reduced both gravitropism and electrotropism.
    Keywords: Life Sciences (General)
    Type: Plant physiology (ISSN 0032-0889); 94; 913-8
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Although exogenous electric fields have been reported to influence the orientation of plant root growth, reports of the ultimate direction of differential growth have been contradictory. Using a high-resolution image analysis approach, the kinetics of electrotropic curvature in Vigna mungo L. roots were investigated. It was found that curvature occurred in the same root toward both the anode and cathode. However, these two responses occurred in two different regions of the root, the central elongation zone (CEZ) and distal elongation zone (DEZ), respectively. These oppositely directed responses could be reproduced individually by a localized electric field application to the region of response. This indicates that both are true responses to the electric field, rather than one being a secondary response to an induced gravitropic stimulation. The individual responses differed in the type of differential growth giving rise to curvature. In the CEZ, curvature was driven by inhibition of elongation, whereas curvature in the DEZ was primarily due to stimulation of elongation. This stimulation of elongation is consistent with the growth response of the DEZ to other environmental stimuli.
    Keywords: Life Sciences (General)
    Type: Plant, cell & environment (ISSN 0140-7791); 23; 11; 1275-80
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Although the effects of gravity on root growth are well known and interactions between light and gravity have been reported, details of root phototropic responses are less documented. We used high-resolution image analysis to study phototropism in primary roots of Zea mays L. Similar to the location of perception in gravitropism, the perception of light was localized in the root cap. Phototropic curvature away from the light, on the other hand, developed in the central elongation zone, more basal than the site of initiation of gravitropic curvature. The phototropic curvature saturated at approximately 10 micromoles m-2 s-1 blue light with a peak curvature of 29 +/- 4 degrees, in part due to induction of positive gravitropism following displacement of the root tip from vertical during negative phototropism. However, at higher fluence rates, development of phototropic curvature is arrested even if gravitropism is avoided by maintaining the root cap vertically using a rotating feedback system. Thus continuous illumination can cause adaptation in the signalling pathway of the phototropic response in roots.
    Keywords: Life Sciences (General)
    Type: Plant, cell & environment (ISSN 0140-7791); 25; 9; 1191-6
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: We used a video digitizer system to (a) measure changes in the pattern of longitudinal surface extension in primary roots of maize (Zea mays L.) upon application and withdrawal of auxin and (b) compare these patterns during gravitropism in control roots and roots pretreated with auxin. Special attention was paid to the distal elongation zone (DEZ), arbitrarily defined as the region between the meristem and the point within the elongation zone at which the rate of elongation reaches 0.3 of the peak rate. For roots in aqueous solution, the basal limit of the DEZ is about 2.5 mm behind the tip of the root cap. Auxin suppressed elongation throughout the elongation zone, but, after 1 to 3 h, elongation resumed, primarily as a result of induction of rapid elongation in the DEZ. Withdrawal of auxin during the period of strong inhibition resulted in exceptionally rapid elongation attributable to the initiation of rapid elongation in the DEZ plus recovery in the main elongation zone. Gravistimulation of auxin-inhibited roots induced rapid elongation in the DEZ along the top of the root. This resulted in rapid gravitropism even though the elongation rate of the root was zero before gravistimulation. The results indicate that cells of the DEZ differ from cells in the bulk of the elongation zone with respect to auxin sensitivity and that DEZ cells play an important role in gravitropism.
    Keywords: Life Sciences (General)
    Type: Plant physiology (ISSN 0032-0889); 102; 4; 1203-10
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: We examined the response of primary roots of maize (Zea mays L. cv Merit) to unilateral application of calcium with particular attention to the site of application, the dependence on growth rate, and possible contributions of thigmotropic stimulation during application. Unilateral application of agar to the root cap induced negative curvature whether or not the agar contained calcium. This apparent thigmotropic response was enhanced by including calcium in the agar. Curvature away from objects applied unilaterally to the extreme root tip occurred both in intact and detipped roots. When agar containing calcium chloride was applied to one side of the postmitotic isodiametric growth zone ( a region between the apical meristem and the elongation zone), the root curved toward the side of application. This response could not be induced by plain agar. We conclude that curvature away from calcium applied to the root tip results from a thigmotropic response to stimulation during application. In contrast, curvature toward the calcium applied to the postmitotic isodiametric growth zone results from direct calcium-induced inhibition of growth.
    Keywords: Life Sciences (General)
    Type: Plant physiology (ISSN 0032-0889); 100; 762-8
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