Aluminium localization in root tips of the aluminium-accumulating plant species buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench).

Research paper by Benjamin B Klug, André A Specht, Walter J WJ Horst

Indexed on: 13 Aug '11Published on: 13 Aug '11Published in: Journal of experimental botany


Aluminium (Al) uptake and transport in the root tip of buckwheat is not yet completely understood. For localization of Al in root tips, fluorescent dyes and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) were compared. The staining of Al with morin is an appropriate means to study qualitatively the radial distribution along the root tip axis of Al which is complexed by oxalate and citrate in buckwheat roots. The results compare well with the distribution of total Al determined by LA-ICP-MS which could be reliably calibrated to compare with Al contents by conventional total Al determination using graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry. The Al localization in root cross-sections along the root tip showed that in buckwheat Al is highly mobile in the radial direction. The root apex predominantly accumulated Al in the cortex. The subapical root section showed a homogenous Al distribution across the whole section. In the following root section Al was located particularly in the pericycle and the xylem parenchyma cells. With further increasing distance from the root apex Al could be detected only in individual xylem vessels. The results support the view that the 10 mm apical root tip is the main site of Al uptake into the symplast of the cortex, while the subapical 10-20 mm zone is the main site of xylem loading through the pericycle and xylem parenchyma cells. Progress in the better molecular understanding of Al transport in buckwheat will depend on the consideration of the tissue specificity of Al transport and complexation.