, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 183-187

NO·–releasing substances that induce growth elongation in maize root segments

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Root segments of maize were incubated in different solutions containing substances that non-enzymatically release nitric oxide, such as sodium nitrite (SN), sodium nitroprusside (SNP), nitrosoglutathione (NGLU) and nitrosocysteine (NCYS). We found that all of these substances induced root tip expansion in a dose-dependent manner. The decreasing order of potency for root-induced elongation was: 10 -7 M SN, pH 4.5; 10 -11 M NCYS, 10 -10 M SNP, 10 -9 M NGLU and 10 -7 M SN, pH 7.0. Nitric oxide scavenger such as methylene blue prevented the elongation induced by NO·–releasing substances, but had no effect on indole-3-acetic acid (IAA)-induced cell expansion. Our results suggest that nitric oxide is the putative elongation inducer and that IAA and NO·–releasing substances conceivably share common steps in the signal transduction pathway, since both elicited the same plant response. Vanadate, a plasmamembrane ATPase inhibitor, significantly reversed IAA-induced elongation when supplied at 10 μM concentration. IAA-induced elongation was strongly enhanced by 10 nM BAY K 8644, an agonist of voltage dependent Ca2+ channels. Promotion of root elongation in the absence of IAA occurred only at higher concentrations of BAY K. Vanadate and BAY K had no influence on the NCYS-induced elongation suggesting that the common steps in the signalling of IAA and NCYS are not at the level of the plasmamembrane.