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Plant Physiol. 1991 Aug;96(4):1360-7.

Transport and Metabolism of 1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic Acid in Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) Seedlings.

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Plant Physiology Research Group, Department Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4.


Transport and metabolism of [2,3-(14)C] 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) from roots to shoots in 4-day-old sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) seedlings were studied. [(14)C]ACC was detected in, and (14)C(2)H(4) was evolved from, shoots 0.5 hours after [(14)C]ACC was supplied to roots. Ethylene emanation from the shoots returned to normal levels after 6 hours. The roots showed a similar pattern, although at 24 hours ethylene emanation was still slightly higher than in those plants that did not receive ACC. [(14)C]N-malonyl-ACC (MACC) was detected in both tissues at all times sampled. [(14)C]MACC levels surpassed [(14)C]ACC levels in the shoot at 2 hours, whereas [(14)C]MACC levels in the root remained below [(14)C]ACC levels until 6 hours, after which they were higher. Thin-layer chromatography analysis identified [(14)C] ACC in 1-hour shoot extracts, and [(14)C]MACC was identified in root tissues at 1 and 12 hours after treatment. [(14)C]ACC and [(14)C] MACC in the xylem sap of treated seedlings were identified by thin-layer chromatography. Xylem transport of [(14)C]ACC in treated seedlings, and transport of ACC in untreated seedlings, was confirmed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Some evidence for the presence of [(14)C]MACC in xylem sap in [(14)C]ACC-treated seedlings is presented. A substantial amount of radioactivity in both ACC and MACC fractions was detected leaking from the roots over 24 hours. A second radiolabeled volatile compound was trapped in a CO(2)-trapping solution but not in mercuric perchlorate. Levels of this compound were highest after the peak of ACC levels and before peak MACC levels in both tissues, suggesting that an alternate pathway of ACC metabolism was operating in this system.

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