, Volume 243, Issue 1, pp 51–62

Plasmolysis and cell wall deposition in wheat root hairs under osmotic stress

  • Michael Volgger
  • Ingeborg Lang
  • Miroslav Ovečka
  • Irene Lichtscheidl
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00709-009-0055-6

Cite this article as:
Volgger, M., Lang, I., Ovečka, M. et al. Protoplasma (2010) 243: 51. doi:10.1007/s00709-009-0055-6


We analysed cell wall formation in rapidly growing root hairs of Triticum aestivum under reduced turgor pressure by application of iso- and hypertonic mannitol solutions. Our experimental series revealed an osmotic value of wheat root hairs of 150 mOsm. In higher concentrations (200–650 mOsm), exocytosis of wall material and its deposition, as well as callose synthesis, still occurred, but the elongation of root hairs was stopped. Even after strong plasmolysis when the protoplast retreated from the cell wall, deposits of wall components were observed. Labelling with DiOC6(3) and FM1-43 revealed numerous Hechtian strands that spanned the plasmolytic space. Interestingly, the Hechtian strands also led towards the very tip of the root hair suggesting strong anchoring sites that are readily incorporated into the new cell wall. Long-term treatments of over 24 h in mannitol solutions (150–450 mOsm) resulted in reduced growth and concentration-dependent shortening of root hairs. However, the formation of new root hairs does occur in all concentrations used. This reflects the extraordinary potential of wheat root cells to adapt to environmental stress situations.


Cell wallMannitol osmotic stressPlasmolysis/Hechtian strandsRoot hairsTip growthTriticum aestivum



Cellulose synthase 6 protein




Mitogen activated protein kinase


Yellow fluorescent protein

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Volgger
    • 1
  • Ingeborg Lang
    • 1
  • Miroslav Ovečka
    • 2
    • 3
  • Irene Lichtscheidl
    • 1
  1. 1.Cell Imaging and Ultrastructure Research, Faculty of Life SciencesThe University of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Agrobiotechnology InstituteCampus de ArrosadiaMutilva BajaSpain
  3. 3.Institute of BotanySlovak Academy of SciencesBratislavaSlovakia