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Plant Physiol. 1992 Aug;99(4):1716-8.

Lithium decreases cold-induced microtubule depolymerization in mesophyll cells of spinach.

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  • 1Department of Horticultural Science, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108.


Freezing, dehydration, and supercooling cause microtubules in mesophyll cells of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L. cv Bloomsdale) to depolymerize (ME Bartolo, JV Carter [1991] Plant Physiol 97: 175-181). The objective of this study was to gain insight into the question of whether microtubules depolymerize as a direct response to environmental stresses or as an indirect response to cellular changes that accompany the stresses. Leaf sections of spinach were treated with Li(+) before and during exposure to low temperature. Treatment with Li(+) decreased the amount of microtubule depolymerization in cells subjected to low temperature, relative to a nontreated control, raising the possibility that the microtubules in these cells may not be inherently cold labile. Rather, microtubule depolymerization may be in response to cold-induced changes in concentration of cytoplasmic components.

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