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The effect of nitrate uptake on the subcellular distribution of tissue nitrate in 2-5 mm maize root tips was investigated by two complementary methods. First a novel in vivo analysis using 133Cs nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) was used to demonstrate changes in the cytoplasmic and vacuolar pools during caesium nitrate uptake. This method depended on interpreting the nitrate-induced changes in the positions of the cytoplasmic and vacuolar caesium signals. The assignment of the signals was confirmed by using in vivo 39K NMR to observe the displacement of cytoplasmic potassium into the vacuole during caesium uptake, and in vivo133Cs NMR to observe the displacement of cytoplasmic caesium into the vacuole during potassium uptake. Secondly nitrate-selective microelectrodes were used to quantify the change in the cytosolic nitrate activity that occurred in the outermost cells of root tips under the same conditions. Both methods showed that the detected nitrate pool increased over a period of 8-10 h in the presence of 10 m m nitrate and it is concluded that the data provide support for the view that homeostasis in the cytosolic and cytoplasmic nitrate pools is not necessarily an invariant characteristic of root tips. © 2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Original publication




Journal article


Plant, Cell and Environment

Publication Date





1379 - 1387