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Plant Cell Environ. 2008 Aug;31(8):1147-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2008.01829.x. Epub 2008 May 28.

Calcium pectate chemistry causes growth to be stored in Chara corallina: a test of the pectate cycle.

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College of Marine and Earth Studies, and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Delaware, 700 Pilottown Road, Lewes, DE 19958, USA.


Calcium pectate chemistry was reported to control the growth rate of cells of Chara corallina, and required turgor pressure (P) to do so. Accordingly, this chemistry should account for other aspects of growth, particularly the ability of plants to compensate for brief exposure to low P, that is, to 'store' growth. Live Chara cells or isolated walls were attached to a pressure probe, and P was varied. Low P caused growth to be inhibited in live cells, but when P returned to normal (0.5 MPa), a flush of growth completely compensated for that lost at low P for as long as 23-53 min. This growth storage was absent in isolated walls, mature cells and live cells exposed to cold, indicating that the cytoplasm delivered a metabolically derived growth factor needing P for its action. Because the cytoplasm delivered pectate needing P for its action, pectate was supplied to isolated walls at low P as though the cytoplasm had done so. Growth was stored while otherwise none occurred. It was concluded that a P-dependent cycle of calcium pectate chemistry not only controlled growth rate and new wall deposition, but also accounted for stored growth.

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