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Effects of ethylene on the kinetics of curvature and auxin redistribution in gravistimulated roots of Zea maysWe tested the involvement of ethylene in maize (Zea mays L.) root gravitropism by measuring the kinetics of curvature and lateral auxin movement in roots treated with ethylene, inhibitors of ethylene synthesis, or inhibitors of ethylene action. In the presence of ethylene the latent period of gravitropic curvature appeared to be increased somewhat. However, ethylene-treated roots continued to curve after control roots had reached their final angle of curvature. Consequently, maximum curvature in the presence of ethylene was much greater in ethylene-treated roots than in controls. Inhibitors of ethylene biosynthesis or action had effects on the kinetics of curvature opposite to that of ethylene, i.e. the latent period appeared to be shortened somewhat while total curvature was reduced relative to that of controls. Label from applied 3H-indole-3-acetic acid was preferentially transported toward the lower side of stimulated roots. In parallel with effects on curvature, ethylene treatment delayed the development of gravity-induced asymmetric auxin movement across the root but extended its duration once initiated. The auxin transport inhibitor, 1-N-naphthylphthalamic acid reduced both gravitropic curvature and the effect of ethylene on curvature. Since neither ethylene nor inhibitors of ethylene biosynthesis or action prevented curvature, we conclude that ethylene does not mediate the primary differential growth response causing curvature. Because ethylene affects curvature and auxin transport in parallel, we suggest that ethylene modifies curvature by affecting gravity-induced lateral transport of auxin, perhaps by interfering with adaptation of the auxin transport system to the gravistimulus.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Lee, J. S. (Ewha Womans University Seoul, Republic of Korea)
Evans, M. L.
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1990
Publication Information
Publication: Plant physiology
Volume: 94
ISSN: 0032-0889
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Non-NASA Center
NASA Program Space Biology
NASA Discipline Plant Biology
NASA Discipline Number 29-20