, Volume 219, Issue 1, pp 41–47 | Cite as

Development of the Casparian strip in primary roots of maize under salt stress

  • Ichirou Karahara
  • Atsuo Ikeda
  • Takanori Kondo
  • Yuzo Uetake
Original Article


The Casparian strip in the endodermis of vascular plant roots appears to play an important role in preventing the influx of salts into the stele through the apoplast under salt stress. The effects of salinity on the development and morphology of the Casparian strip in primary roots of maize (Zea mays L.) were studied. Compared to the controls, the strip matured closer to the root tip with increase in the ambient concentration of NaCl. During growth in 200 mM NaCl, the number and the length of the endodermal cells in the region between the root tip and the lowest position of the endodermal strip decreased, as did the apparent rate of production of cells in single files of endodermal cells (the rate of cell formation being equal to the rate at which cells are lost from the meristem). The estimated time required for an individual cell to complete the formation of the strip after generation of the cell in the presence of 200 mM NaCl was not very different from that required in controls. Thus, salinity did not substantially affect the actual process of formation of the strip in individual cells. The radial width of the Casparian strip, a morphological parameter that should be related to the effectiveness of the strip as a barrier, increased in the presence of 200 mM NaCl. The mean width of the lignified region was 0.92 μm in distilled water and 1.33 μm in 200 mM NaCl at the lowest position of the strip. The mean width of the strip relative to that of the radial wall at this position was significantly greater after growth in the presence of 200 mM NaCl than in the controls, namely, 20.5% in distilled water and 33.9% in 200 mM NaCl. These observations suggest that the function of the strip is enhanced under salt stress.


Casparian strip (band) Salinity (salt stress) Endodermis Lignin Zea 



This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (no. 11740454) from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of Japan, by a Sasakawa Scientific Research Grant from the Japan Science Society, and a grant for the improvement of education from Toyama University to I.K. The authors are grateful to Professors M. Sugai, K. Masuda and S. Kamisaka of Toyama University for their helpful suggestions and to Ms. H. Miyake for her skilled technical assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ichirou Karahara
    • 1
  • Atsuo Ikeda
    • 1
  • Takanori Kondo
    • 1
  • Yuzo Uetake
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceToyama UniversityToyamaJapan

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