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Aust J Plant Physiol. 1993;20:771-8.

Aluminium and hydrogen ions inhibit a mechanosensory calcium-selective cation channel.

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Biology Department, Washington University, Saint Louis, MO 63130-4899.
Washington U, St Louis, MO


The tension-dependent activity of mechanosensory calcium-selective cation channels in excised plasmalemmal patches from onion bulb scale epidermis is modulated by pH in the physiologically meaningful range between 4.5 and 7.2. It is rapidly lowered by lowering pH and rapidly raised by raising pH. Channel activity is effectively inhibited by low levels of aluminium ions and activity can be partially restored by washing for a few minutes. We suggest that under normal conditions the sensitivity of the mechanosensory channels to pH of the wall free space plays important roles in regulation of plant activities such as growth. We further suggest that, when levels of acid and aluminium ions in the soil solution are high, they might inhibit similar sensory channels in cells of the root tip, thus contributing critically to the acid soil syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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