Journal Article

Accumulation of 1,3-β-<span class="smallCaps">d</span>-glucans, in Response to Aluminum and Cytosolic Calcium in <i>Triticum aestivum</i>

Paulus Bhuja, Kristi McLachlan, Julie Stephens and Gregory Taylor

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 45, issue 5, pages 543-549
Published in print May 2004 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online May 2004 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
Accumulation of 1,3-β-d-glucans, in Response to Aluminum and Cytosolic Calcium in Triticum aestivum

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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One of the most rapid responses to aluminum (Al) stress in plants is enhanced synthesis and deposition of 1,3-β-d-glucans (callose) in root tips. Ironically, Al-induced synthesis and deposition of callose occurs in vivo, despite evidence from in vitro systems that suggests that Al is a powerful inhibitor of 1,3-β-d-glucan synthase. We set out to test the hypothesis that an Al-induced increase in the activity of free calcium in the cytoplasm ([Ca2+]cyt) is the trigger for enhanced synthesis of callose in in vivo systems, an effect that would not be observed in in vitro systems. Root tips of an Al-sensitive cultivar of Triticum aestivum were treated with Al (0–100 µM) or the Ca ionophore A23187 (0–3 µM) for 3–24 h, and the effects on [Ca2+]cyt and synthesis of callose were measured using confocal laser scanning microscopy. Treatment with Al induced a rapid increase in both [Ca2+]cyt (4.7-fold) and synthesis of callose (30-fold). Treatment with the Ca ionophore, A23187, also elicited an increase in [Ca2+]cyt (6.6-fold). Despite a greater increase in [Ca2+]cyt in the presence of A23187, this increase was accompanied by a smaller increase in callose deposition (11-fold) than was observed in the presence of Al. These data suggest that an increase in [Ca2+]cyt is not the only factor modulating increases in callose synthesis and deposition in the presence of Al.

Keywords: Keywords: Aluminum — Calcium — Callose — 1,3-β-d-glucans — Triticum aestivum — Wheat.; Abbreviations: [Ca2+]cyt, activity of free calcium in the cytoplasm.

Journal Article.  4131 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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