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Journal Article

Cytoplasmic pH dynamics in maize pulvinal cells induced induced by gravity vector changes.


Rink,  J. C.
Department of Tissue Dynamics and Regeneration, MPI for Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Johannes, E., Collings, D. A., Rink, J. C., & Strömgren Allen, N. (2001). Cytoplasmic pH dynamics in maize pulvinal cells induced induced by gravity vector changes. Plant Physiology, 127(1), 119-130. doi:10.1104/pp.127.1.119.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-B1C1-8
In maize (Zea mays) and other grasses, changes in orientation of stems are perceived by pulvinal tissue, which responds to the stimulus by differential growth resulting in upward bending of the stem. The amyloplast-containing bundle sheath cells are the sites of gravity perception, although the initial steps of gravity perception and transmission remain unclear. In columella cells of Arabidopsis roots, we previously found that cytoplasmic pH (pH(c)) is a mediator in early gravitropic signaling (A.C. Scott, N.S. Allen [1999] Plant Physiol 121: 1291-1298). The question arises whether pH(c) has a more general role in signaling gravity vector changes. Using confocal ratiometric imaging and the fluorescent pH indicator carboxy seminaphtorhodafluor acetoxymethyl ester acetate, we measured pH, in the cells composing the maize pulvinus. When stem slices were gravistimulated and imaged on a horizontally mounted confocal microscope, pH(c) changes were only apparent within the bundle sheath cells, and not in the parenchyma cells. After turning, cytoplasmic acidification was observed at the sides of the cells, whereas the cytoplasm at the base of the cells where plastids slowly accumulated became more basic. These changes were most apparent in cells exhibiting net amyloplast sedimentation. Parenchyma cells and isolated bundle sheath cells did not show any gravity-induced pH(c) changes although all cell types responded to external stimuli in the predicted way: Propionic. acid and auxin treatments induced acidification, whereas raising the external pH caused alkalinization. The results suggest that pH(c) has an important role in the early signaling pathways of maize stem gravitropism.