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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

The effect of root excision on the growth of primary leaves, petioles, and epicotyls of bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) has been investigated for plants growing in various light conditions. Plants were initially grown in either continuous dim red light (RL; 4 μmol m−2S−1) or bright white light (WL; 100 μmol; m−2S−1, 16 h light: 8 h dark photoperiod) for 10 days. On day 10, some plants were excised. Then, both intact and excised plants were returned to RL or WL, or switched to the other light treatment (RL to WL, WL to RL). Exposure to WL on day 10 promoted leaf expansion and inhibited petiole and epicotyl growth, regardless of light pretreatments before day 10. Root excision reduced leaf expansion by 40–50% both in WL and RL. Petiole and epicotyl growth were less affected. Removal of the cotyledons or the stem apex caused a slight but significant reduction of leaf elongation in both intact and excised plants. Apex removal reduced epicotyl elongation but did not stop it. Although excision of roots partially inhibited leaf and epicotyl development, the relative response of excised plants to the light treatments was similar to that of intact plants. These results justify the use of derooted plants to study leaf growth in a “whole plant” excised system.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Horticulture, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center ; 2: Faculty of Agriculture, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem ; 3: Department of Botany, University of Washington


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