Ca2+ has been proposed to mediate inhibition of root elongation. However, exogenous Ca2+ at 10 or 20 millimolar, applied directly to the root cap, significantly stimulated root elongation in pea (Pisum sativum L.) and corn (Zea mays L.) seedlings. Furthermore, Ca2+ at 1 to 20 millimolar, applied unilaterally to the caps of Alaska pea roots, caused root curvature away from the Ca2+ source, which was caused by an acceleration of elongation growth on the convex side (Ca2+ side) of the roots. Roots of an agravitropic pea mutant, ageotropum, responded to a greater extent. Roots of Merit and Silver Queen corn also responded to Ca2+ in similar ways but required a higher Ca2+ concentration than that of pea roots. Roots of all other cultivars tested (additional four cultivars of pea and one of corn) curved away from the unilateral Ca2+ source as well. The Ca2+-stimulated curvature was substantially enhanced by light. A Ca2+ ionophore, A23187, at 20 micromolar or abscisic acid at 0.1 to 100 micromolar partially substituted for the light effect and enhanced the Ca2+-stimulated curvature in the dark. Unilateral application of Ca2+ to the elongation zone of intact roots or to the cut end of detipped roots caused either no curvature or very slight curvature toward the Ca2+. Thus, Ca2+ action on root elongation differs depending on its site of application. The stimulatory action of Ca2+ may involve an elevation of cytoplasmic Ca2+ in root cap cells and may participate in root tropisms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science