A new histochemical method for Ni determination has been developed and employed to study the pattern of Ni distribution in plant tissues. Two-day-old seedlings of maize (Zea mays L.) were transferred onto 15, 20, 25, and 35 μM Ni(NO3)2 solutions in the presence of 3 mM Ca(NO3)2, and Ni localization in shoot and root tissues was investigated at days 2 and 7 of the incubation. Following two days of incubation, Ni was found in all root tissues, and its content increased with the period of exposure and from the tip to the root base. Independent of root region and tissue, Ni content in the protoplasts exceeded that in the cell walls. Ni penetrated the endodermal barrier and accumulated in the endodermis and pericycle to the highest concentration. Ni accumulation in the pericycle restricted root branching. Ni did not affect the final cell length, and the inhibition of root growth resulted from suppressed cell division. In the shoots, Ni content was below the level discerned by the dimethylglyoximine method; we therefore conclude that maize belongs to excluder plants, with their root systems functioning as a barrier limiting heavy metal intake by aboveground organs. The pattern of Ni transport differs from that of Cd and Pb; this difference stands for specific toxic effects of Ni, including an arrest of root branching.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 11, 2004
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