Premise of the Study: Lead (Pb) is a contaminant whose removal from soil remains a challenge. In a previous study, border cells released from root tips were found to trap Pb, alter its chemistry, and prevent root uptake. Rhodizonic acid (RA) is a forensic tool used to reveal gunshot residue, and also to detect Pb within plant tissues. Here we report preliminary observations to assess the potential application of RA in exploring the dynamics of Pb accumulation at the root tip surface. Methods and Results: Corn root tips were immersed in Pb solution, stained with RA, and observed microscopically. Pb trapping by border cells was evident within minutes. The role of extracellular DNA was revealed when addition of nucleases resulted in dispersal of RA-stained Pb particles. Conclusions: RA is an efficient tool to monitor Pb–root interactions. Trapping by border cells may control Pb levels and chemistry at the root tip surface. Understanding how plants influence Pb distribution in soil may facilitate its remediation.
- border cells
- extracellular DNA (exDNA) trapping
- lead (Pb)
- rhodizonic acid (RA)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Plant Science