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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The polarity of statocytes and the gravisensitivity of roots are dependent on the concentration of calcium in statocytes.

In order to examine a possible role of calcium in graviperception, the calcium ionophore A23187 was used to elevate the concentration of free cytoplasmic calcium in statocytes of the roots of Lepidium sativum L. After a brief incubation (30 min) in a medium that contained 10 micromoles A23187 and 5.5 micromoles CaCl2, 50% of the roots bent gravitropically during a subsequent 2 h of horizontal exposure, with an angle of curvature that varied from 5 degrees to 70 degrees. The corresponding statocytes exhibited a polar arrangement of cell organelles as did the controls. However, in statocytes from 50% of the roots which were not curved after gravistimulation a portion of the distal endoplasmic reticulum (ER) complex was displaced in the direction of gravity within 30 min of horizontal exposure. After washing of the briefly treated roots for 24 h with 1% dimethylsulfoxide the percentage of gravitropically bending roots increased to approximately 80%, but the angle of curvature amounted to only 5 degrees-10 degrees. Longer treatment (2 h) with A23187 caused a complete loss of graviresponsiveness which was accompanied by disintegration of statocyte polarity. We concluded from these results that i) calcium is involved in graviperception and ii) gravisensitivity depends on the integrity of statocytes.[1]


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