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Plant J. 1999 Aug;19(3):347-52.

Rhizobium nod factors induce increases in intracellular free calcium and extracellular calcium influxes in bean root hairs


Application of Nod factors to growing, responsive root hairs of the bean Phaseolus vulgaris induces marked changes in both the intracellular cytosolic free calcium (Ca2+) and in the influx of extracellular [Ca2+]. The intracellular [Ca2+], which has been measured by ratiometric imaging in cells microinjected with fura-2-dextran (70 kDa), elevates within 5 min from approximately 400 nM to 1500 nM in localised zones in the root hair apex. Of particular note is the observation that the elevated regions of [Ca2+] appear to shift position during short time intervals. Increases in and fluctuations of the intracellular [Ca2+] are also observed in the perinuclear region after 10-15 min treatment with Nod factors. The extracellular Ca2+ flux, detected with the non-invasive, calcium specific vibrating electrode, is inwardly directed and also increases quickly in response to Nod factors from 13 pmol cm-2 s-1 to 28 pmol cm-2 s-1. Chitin-oligomers, which are structurally similar but biologically inactive when compared to the active Nod factors, fail to elicit changes in either intracellular or extracellular Ca2+. The similar timing and location of the intracellular elevations and the increased extracellular influx provide support for the idea that Ca2+ participates in secretion and cell wall remodelling, which occur in anticipation of root hair deformation and curling.

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