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The influence of ascorbic acid on root growth and the root apical meristem in Arabidopsis thaliana
journal contributionposted on 2018-08-01, 00:00 authored by Noura Kka, Jim RookesJim Rookes, David CahillDavid Cahill
Cell division is a fundamental biological process governed by molecular networks that are initiated in the apical meristems of plants. l-ascorbic acid (AsA) commonly known as vitamin C is a crucial molecular modulator involved in cell proliferation. In this study, we used AsA application to Arabidopsis and four AsA pathway mutants to investigate the influence of AsA on the root apical meristem (RAM) and root growth. Treatment of seeds of wild-type Col-0 with AsA prior to sowing showed a significant increase in the activity of cell division of the RAM, root growth rate and root length when compared with untreated seeds. Seedlings of the AsA pathway mutant vtc1-1 showed a significant reduction in the level of AsA and a significant increase in the number of quiescent cells in the RAM when compared with Col-0. Cell proliferation was reduced in the AsA pathway mutants vtc1-1, dhar1, vtc5-1, apx1, respectively, however, root growth decreased significantly only in vtc1-1 when compared with Col-0. In addition, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) levels were shown to increase in the AsA pathway mutants, with the highest level of H2O2 found in vtc1-1. AsA is also shown to have an indirect influence in inducing periclinal division as a reduced level was found in vtc1-1. Therefore, in this study, we found that AsA had an influence on cell proliferation and root growth and VTC1 was shown to be a key modulator of H2O2 levels. These findings open the door for further studies to reveal the involvement of AsA in cell proliferation and the interaction between AsA and H2O2 on cell polarity in the RAM and potentially the shoot apical meristem.