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Cytological study on water stress during germination of Zea mays

Deltour, R.
Bronchart, R.
Published in Planta. 1976, vol. 132, no. 1, p. 31 - 41
Abstract Kernels of Zea mays were subjected to dehydration treatment at various times during germination. Embryos from kernels dehydrated during the first 36 h of germination are resistant to dehydration and subsequently germinate earlier than controls. Dehydration of kernels germinated during 72h leads to an irreversible arrest of growth of the embryos. However, autoradiographic observations showed that these embryos are still able to incorporate [3H] uridine and probably [4-5-3H] lysine. Incorporation of [3H] thymidine does not occur. The effect of dehydration on root ultrastructure was studied. In embryos dehydrated after 24 h and 72 h of germination, condensation of chromatin is seen and association of elements of rough endoplasmic reticulum with vacuoles and glyoxysomes can be noted. These changes are reversible in drought-resistant embryos and irreversible in drought-sensitive embryos. However, more notable changes than those seen after 24 h can be observed in embryos dehydrated after 72 h of germination: mitochondria and proplastids can not be distinguished with certainty, glyoxysomes fuse and preferably dispose at the periphery of the cell. Rehydration of drought-sensitive embryos causes breakdown in plasma and nuclear membranes, which leads to the loss of cellular compartimentalization. Moreover, the chromatin remains definitively condensed and has lost its function of genetic regulation.
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CRÈVECOEUR, Michèle, DELTOUR, R., BRONCHART, R. Cytological study on water stress during germination of Zea mays. In: Planta, 1976, vol. 132, n° 1, p. 31 - 41. doi: 10.1007/BF00390328

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Deposited on : 2010-06-14

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