Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 131, Issue 3, pp 543–554 | Cite as

Effects of glucose and ethylene on root hair initiation and elongation in lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) seedlings

  • Wakana Harigaya
  • Hidenori TakahashiEmail author
Regular Paper


Root hair formation occurs in lettuce seedlings after transfer to an acidic medium (pH 4.0). This process requires cortical microtubule (CMT) randomization in root epidermal cells and the plant hormone ethylene. We investigated the interaction between ethylene and glucose, a new signaling molecule in plants, in lettuce root development, with an emphasis on root hair formation. Dark-grown seedlings were used to exclude the effect of photosynthetically produced glucose. In the dark, neither root hair formation nor the CMT randomization preceding it occurred, even after transfer to the acidic medium (pH 4.0). Adding 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic-acid (ACC) to the medium rescued the induction, while adding glucose did not. Although CMT randomization occurred when glucose was applied together with ACC, it was somewhat suppressed compared to that in ACC-treated seedlings. This was not due to a decrease in the speed of randomization, but due to lowering of the maximum degree of randomization. Despite the negative effect of glucose on ACC-induced CMT randomization, the density and length of ACC-induced root hairs increased when glucose was also added. The hair-cell length of the ACC-treated seedlings was comparable to that in the combined-treatment seedlings, indicating that the increase in hair density caused by glucose results from an increase in the root hair number. Furthermore, quantitative RT-PCR revealed that glucose suppressed ethylene signaling. These results suggest that glucose has a negative and positive effect on the earlier and later stages of root hair formation, respectively, and that the promotion of the initiation and elongation of root hairs by glucose may be mediated in an ethylene-independent manner.


Cortical microtubule Ethylene Glucose Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) Root hair 



We thank Prof. Y. Inoue in Tokyo University of Science for providing lettuce seeds.


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© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceToho UniversityFunabashiJapan

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