Assessment of aluminum sensitivity of maize cultivars using roots of intact plants and excised root tips uri icon


  • Excised root tips did not show a significant Al-induced inhibition of root elongation. While average Al-induced callose formation was similar for root tips of intact plants and excised root tips, mean Al contents in excised root tips were up to 1.5-fold higher than in root tips of intact plants after 24 h of Al treatment. Aluminum-induced callose formation as found in excised root tips did neither correspond to Al-induced callose formation nor to inhibition of root elongation of intact plants.
  • Maize cultivars (Zea mays L.) were evaluated for their aluminum (Al) sensitivity using intact plants and excised root tips exposed to 25 muM Al in nutrient solution of low ionic strength and pH 4.3. Aluminum supply increased callose formation and Al concentrations in root tips of intact plants as well as in excised root tips.
  • The addition of 10 mM glucose to the incubation medium led to a significant increase in the elongation of excised root tips and a 2-3-fold increase in Al-induced callose formation. Staining with triphenyl-tetrazolium-chloride (TTC) revealed increased viability of these root segments. However, these effects of glucose supply did not improve the characterization of the cultivars for Al resistance. The results presented suggest that Al exclusion mechanisms expressed in root tips of intact plants might be nonoperational in excised root tips, Therefore, the characterization of maize germplasm for Al resistance using excised root tips appears not to be reliable.
  • Using intact plants, differences in Al sensitivity among cultivars could be characterized by Al-induced callose formation, Al-induced inhibition of root elongation, as well as Al contents in root tips as parameters. Significant correlations between Al-induced callose formation and Al contents in root tips (r(2)=0.64**) and inhibition of root elongation (r(2)=0.80***) were found.

publication date

  • 2002
  • 2002