stable isotope labelling
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Abstract In a model system using intact spruce trees (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) we followed the path of magnesium, calcium and potassium during uptake into the root and during long-range transport into the shoot, by multiple stable isotope labelling. The roots of two- and three-year-old spruce trees originating from soil culture were removed from the soil and, in part or in toto, exposed to labelling solutions containing the stable isotopes 25Mg or 26Mg, 41K and 42Ca or 44Ca. Optical-emission-spectroscopy (ICP-OES) of plant fractions and labelling solutions was combined with the quantitative analysis of stable isotope ratios in sections of shock frozen, cryosubstituted material using the laser-microprobe-mass-analyser (LAMMA). This combination allowed us to distinguish, both in bulk samples and on the cellular level between (i) the fraction of elements originally present in the plant before the start of the labelling, (ii) the material taken up from the labelling solution into the plant and (iii) any material released by the plant into the labelling solution. In single-root labelling experiments, roots of three-year-old spruce trees, grown in nursery soil, were exposed to various pH conditions. The exchange of Mg and Ca with the labelling solution was nearly 100% in the cell walls of the mycorrhized finest roots. This exchange was only slightly affected by a step down to pH 3.5. The absolute Mg and Ca content in the cell walls was moderately reduced by incubation at pH 3.5 and strongly reduced in the presence of Al at this pH. After a pH 3.5 and 2 mM Al treatment we found Al in the xylem cell walls and the cortex cell lumina at elevated concentrations. To analyse the combined effect of high Al and high proton concentrations on the long-range transport, we used a “split-root system”. The root mass of an intact two-year-old spruce tree, grown in mineral soil, was divided into even parts and both halves incubated in solutions with two sets of different stable isotopes of Mg and Ca (side A: no Al, 25Mg and 42Ca; side B: +Al, 26Mg and 44Ca) and 41K on both sides. We observed a large uptake of Mg, Ca and K into the plant and a pronounced release. The net uptake of all three elements was lower from the Al-doted solution. In cross-sections of the apical shoot we found after seven-day labelling period about 60–70% of the Mg and Ca and 30% of the K content in the xylem cell walls originating from both labelling solutions. The clear majority of the Mg and Ca label originated from the Al-doted side.
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