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Effect of a longitudinally applied voltage upon the growth of Zea mays seedlingsThe electrical parameters that affect young seedling growth were investigated. Voltages ranging from 5 to 40 volts were applied longitudinally along the mesocotyl region of 4-day old Zea mays L. (cv Silver Queen) seedlings for periods of 3 or 4 hours. It was determined that: (a) making the tips of the seedlings electrically positive relative to the base strongly inhibited shoot growth at 5 volts, whereas the reverse polarity had no effect; (b) at higher voltages, making the tip of the seedlings negative caused less growth inhibition than the reverse polarity at each voltage level; (c) the higher the applied voltage the greater the degree of inhibition; and, (d) the more growth inhibition experienced by the plants the poorer, and slower, their recovery. Previous observations of a relationship between the amount of free indole-3-acetic acid in the mesocotyl cortex and the growth rate of the mesocotyl and of gravitropism-induced movement of labeled indole-3-acetic acid from the seed to the shoot lead to the prediction of a voltage-dependent gating of the movement of indole-3-acetic acid from the stele to the cortex. This provided the basis for attempting to alter the growth rate of seedlings by means of an applied voltage.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Desrosiers, M. F.
(Michigan State University East Lansing 48824)
Bandurski, R. S.
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1988
Publication Information
Publication: Plant physiology
Volume: 87
ISSN: 0032-0889
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
NASA Program Space Biology
NASA Discipline Number 40-10
NASA Discipline Number 40-99
Non-NASA Center
NASA Discipline Plant Biology
NASA Program Space Biology Research Associates

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