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Nutrient uptake patterns over the surface of germinating wheat seeds

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 12:04 authored by Sergey ShabalaSergey Shabala, Ian NewmanIan Newman, Wilson, SJ, Clark, RJ
K +, Ca 2+ and H + flux profiles were studied around the surface of germinating wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Machete) seeds using a non-invasive microelectrode technique. The seed surface was scanned every 500 μm along the longitudinal axis, and net ion fluxes were measured 2 min and 1, 4 and 24 h after seed rehydration commenced. Functionally different seed zones exhibited different ion exchange patterns, which also changed differently with time. One h after seed rehydration, the peak of H + extrusion was observed in the embryo-scutellum region. By 24 h this peak had shifted towards the region of radicle emergence, and its magnitude had increased 5-fold. By contrast, H + activity in the endosperm region decreased noticeably during this period. At the same time, Ca 2+ flux shifted from initial net influx to efflux in the embryo and scutellum zones. Most striking were K + flux profiles, with large K + efflux observed at each end and almost zero flux near the geometrical center of the seed. Significant K + extrusion from the embryo end was observed for as long as 24 h after seed rehydration and was not related to the loss of membrane integrity. Seed treatment with metabolic inhibitors (vanadate and tetraethylammonium) caused significant changes in both H + and K + fluxes suggesting that at least part of the measured fluxes originated from activities of plasma membrane transporters. We discuss possible mechanisms responsible for the observed regularities and question whether the seed coat in wheat caryopses is as ion-impermeable as previously believed.


Publication title

Australian Journal of Plant Physiology








Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)


CSIRO Publishing

Place of publication

Collingwood, Australia

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences

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