, Volume 148, Issue 2-3, pp 130-137

Calcium oxalate formation is a rapid and reversible process inLemna minor L.

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Lemna minor root tips form raphide Ca oxalate crystals in both the root cap and root proper. An in vivo system was developed to examine raphide crystal bundle formation in the root of intact plants. By increasing the exogenous Ca concentration, crystal bundle formation could be induced. Entire new crystal bundles could be formed within 30 minutes of an inductive stimulus. The process was reversible with recently formed crystal bundles being dissolved over a period of about 3 hours. Older, previously existing bundles were more resistant to dissolution. The calmodulin antagonists, chlorpromazine and trifluoperazine (300 μM), prevented crystal formation and caused dissolution of some crystal bundles, even in the presence of exogenous Ca. When the antagonists were flushed out and replaced with fresh medium, crystals were formed in cells where dissolution had occurred under the influence of the antagonists. The Ca ionophore A 23187 (20 μM) caused slow dissolution of crystal bundles, even in the presence of exogenous Ca. A model describing the control of and physiological significance of Ca oxalate formation in plants is presented and discussed with respect to the results obtained in this study.