The dependence of stem elongation on solute import was investigated in etiolated pea seedlings (Pisum sativum L. var Alaska) by excising the cotyledons. Stem elongation was inhibited by 60% within 5 hours of excision. Dry weight accumulation into the growing region stopped and osmotic pressure of the cell sap declined by 0.14 megapascal over 5 hours. Attempts to assay phloem transport via ethylenediaminetetraacetate-enhanced exudation from cut stems revealed no effect of cotyledon excision, indicating that the technique measured artifactual leakage from cells. Despite the drop in cell osmotic pressure, turgor pressure (measured directly via a pressure probe) did not decline. Turgor maintenance is postulated to occur via uptake of solutes from the free space, thereby maintaining the osmotic pressure difference across the cell membrane. Cell wall properties were measured by the pressure-block stress relaxation technique. Results indicate that growth inhibition after cotyledon excision was mediated primarily via an increase in the wall yield threshold.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science