The surface charge density of wheat root membranes

A. Bérczi, Ian M. Møller, Tomas Lundborg, Anders Kylin

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Seedlings of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Hildur) were grown at 18°C for 7 days in darkness in a complete growth medium in the presence or absence of 1 mM KCl to produce roots with different ion contents (high and low K+ respectively). The roots were homogenized, the 3 000 g, 10 000 g, 30 000 g (further fractionated by two phase partitioning) and 100 000 g pellets isolated, and their surface charge densities (σ) determined by the use of 9‐aminoacridine fluorescence. The average σ for all membrane fractions weighted for protein content was the same (−18 mC m−2) for low and high K+ roots. The K+, Na+, Mg2+ and Ca2+ content of roots was determined and used to calculate an average σ following the procedure of Bérczi et al. [Physiol. Plant. 61: 529–534 (1984)]. The predicted value (−11 mC m−2) does not deviate much from the experimentally determined value. It is concluded as a useful working hypothesis that the average surface charge density is constant and that the ionic content of plant cells is regulated such that the average surface potential is constant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-540
Number of pages6
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1984



  • 9‐Aminoacridine fluorescence
  • ion content
  • phase partitioning
  • surface potential
  • Triticum aestivum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

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