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Possible involvement of Al-induced electrical signals in Al tolerance in wheat

Papernik, L.A., Kochian, L.V.
Plant physiology 1997 v.115 no.2 pp. 657-667
Triticum aestivum, roots, aluminum, phytotoxicity, cell membranes, membrane potential, measurement, potassium, ion transport, lanthanum, malic acid, exudation, cultivars, genetic variation
The relationship between Al-induced depolarization of root-cell transmembrane electrical potentials (E(m)) and Al tolerance in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) was investigated. Al exposure induced depolarizations of E(m) in the Al-tolerant wheat cultivars Atlas and ET3, but not in the Al-sensitive wheat cultivars Scout and ES3. The depolarizations of E(m) occurred in root cap cells and as far back as 10 mm from the root tip. The depolarization was specific to Al3+; no depolarization was observed when roots were exposed to the rhizotoxic trivalent cation La3+. The Al-induced depolarization occurred in the presence of anion-channel antagonists that blocked the release of malate, indicating that the depolarization is not due to the electrogenic efflux of malate2-.K+-induced depolarizations in the root cap were of the same magnitude as Al-induced depolarizations, but did not trigger malate release, indicating that Al-induced depolarization of root cap cell membrane potentials is probably linked to, but is not sufficient to trigger, malate release.