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Effects Of ACC (1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic Acid) Applied Through The Roots Of Maize Seedlings On Vegetative And Early Reproductive Development Of The Shoots

Moshe J. Pinthus, Michael B. Jackson
Published 2004 · Biology

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Maize plants, grown in aerated solution cultures, were exposed, at different growth stages, to ACC (1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid) applied through the roots for up to 9 d. Total uptake of ACC increased with seedling size. During ACC treatment, ethylene evolution, by the shoots, proceeded at an almost constant rate per unit fresh weight that was up to 40-fold faster than that of untreated plants. This stimulation extended several days beyond the period of ACC uptake. The effects on growth and development were assessed when plants were 50–52-d old. ACC application shortened certain stem internodes, leaf-sheaths and laminae. The location of these effects depended on the time of application. The greatest shortening was induced by application, at the 4-leaf stage (10 d-old), prior to elongation of the cone of the shoot apex. This is ascribed to effects on meristematic tissue, in addition to those on elongating cells. An unexpected response to ACC treatment, at the 4-leaf stage, was an increase of up to four leaf-bearing stem nodes compared to untreated plants. This resulted in a parallel elevation of the uppermost ear-bearing axillary shoot to higher nodal positions. The length of leaves high in the canopy (nodes 11–16) was promoted by treating seedlings with ACC. The only clear effect of the ACC treatments on emergent axillary shoots per se was a retardation of silk elongation.
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