, Volume 165, Issue 1, pp 51–58 | Cite as

Larger adenylate energy charge and ATP/ADP ratios in aerenchymatous roots of Zea mays in anaerobic media as a consequence of improved internal oxygen transport

  • M. C. Drew
  • P. H. Saglio
  • A. Pradet


Internal transport of O2 from the aerial tissues along the adventitious roots of intact maize plants was estimated by measuring the concentrations of adenine nucleotides in various zones along the root under an oxygen-free atmosphere. Young maize plants were grown in nutrient solution under conditions that either stimulated or prevented the formation of a lysigenous aerenchyma, and the roots (up to 210 mm long) were then exposed to an anaerobic (oxygen-free) nutrient solution. Aerenchymatous roots showed higher values than non-aerenchymatous ones for ATP content, adenylate energy charge and ATP/ADP ratios. We conclude that the lysigenous cortical gas spaces help maintain a high respiration rate in the tissues along the root, and in the apical zone, by improving internal transport of oxygen over distances of at least 210 mm. This contrasted sharply with the low energy status (poor O2 transport) in non-aerenchymatous roots.

Key words

Adenine nucleotide Adenylate energy charge Acrenchyma Anaerobiosis Anoxia Gas space (root) Oxygen Root (O2 supply) Zea (root, oxygen) 



adenylate energy charge


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. C. Drew
    • 1
  • P. H. Saglio
    • 2
  • A. Pradet
    • 2
  1. 1.Agriculture and Food Research Council Letcombe LaboratoryOxonUK
  2. 2.Station de Physiologie VégétaleInstitut National de la Recherche AgronomiquePont-de-la-MayeFrance
  3. 3.Long Ashton Research StationBristolUK

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