Amyloplast sedimentation kinetics in gravistimulated maize roots

Planta. 1985;165:295-300.


Amyloplast sedimentation in gravistimulated maize (Zea mays L.) roots was measured using the change in angle from the center of the cell to each amyloplast as an index of sedimentation. Using tissue fixed after gravistimulation, the relationship between mean amyloplast angle and the duration of gravistimulation was found to be linear when plotted on a logarithmic time scale. Extrapolated values for the onset of angular change are 5.9 s after the start of gravistimulation for the entire population of amyloplasts and 11.8 s for lead amyloplasts. By multiplying the instantaneous angular velocity (in radians) by the cell center to amyloplast radius, it is possible to calculate the initial sedimentation velocity to be 19.1 micrometers min-1 at 5.9 s. During sedimentation, the mean amyloplast angles surpass the calculated cell corner angle of 123 at 2.2 min for all amyloplasts and at 19 s for lead amyloplasts near the new lower wall. Thus, substantial sedimentation occurs within the presentation time, calculated to be 4.1 min. These kinetics are consistent with several hypotheses of graviperception.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Gravitation
  • Gravitropism / physiology*
  • Gravity Sensing / physiology
  • Plant Root Cap / growth & development
  • Plant Root Cap / physiology
  • Plant Root Cap / ultrastructure*
  • Plant Roots / growth & development
  • Plant Roots / physiology
  • Plant Roots / ultrastructure*
  • Plastids / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Zea mays / growth & development
  • Zea mays / physiology
  • Zea mays / ultrastructure*