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Mechanical Properties within the Growth Zone of Corn Roots Investigated by Bending Experiments. II. Distributions of Modulus and Compliance in Bending

Jack M. H. Beusmans and Wendy Kuhn Silk
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 75, No. 7 (Jul., 1988), pp. 996-1002
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2443767
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Mechanical Properties within the Growth Zone of Corn Roots Investigated by Bending Experiments. II. Distributions of Modulus and Compliance in Bending
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Abstract

A bending technique was used to infer the spatial distributions of rheological properties within the growth zone of the root of corn, Zea mays. "Bending modulus" (ratio of stress to strain, calculated from engineering theory of bending) falls from 20 MPa near the root tip (3 mm from the tip) to 6 MPa at the location 6 mm from the tip and then remains uniform through the basal region of the growth zone. Where growth stops, at 11-12 mm, there is a sharp rise in bending modulus. The profile of bending moduli is not changed by root incubation temperature during the growth period prior to bending, but it is shifted to the left in roots growing more slowly than the average at either of two temperatures (19 and 29 C). The spatial distribution of "compliance" (reciprocal of bending modulus and a measure of tissue extensibility) resembles the distribution of swelling in response to osmotic perturbation. The distribution of compliance does not parallel that of growth rate. Attempts to explain the discrepancy between compliance and growth rate lead us to examine the theoretical basis for the calculations and to suggest that the dependence of compliance on rate of stretching is physiologically important.

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