Aluminium tolerance mechanisms; confocal; fluorescence; histolocalization
We correlated root growth inhibition with aluminium (Al3+) localization and toxicity symptoms in rice roots using seedlings of two genotypes (tolerant and sensitive) that were exposed to different AlCl3 concentrations. Al3+ localization was evaluated by hematoxylin in primary roots and by morin in cross-sections of the root tips. Neutral invertase enzyme activity and callose (1$\to$3, 𝛽-D-glucan) accumulation were observed and compared with Al3+ accumulation sites. Root growth was inhibited by Al3+ in a concentration-specific manner and proportional to the increase of hematoxylin staining, being more pronounced in the sensitive genotype. Morin staining showed the presence of Al3+ deep within the roots of the sensitive genotype, indicating that the metal was able to penetrate beyond the first few cell layers. In the tolerant genotype, Al3+ penetration was restricted to the first two cell layers. Ruptures in exodermis and epidermis layers by lateral root protrusions in both genotypes allowed Al3+ to enter into the roots. More intense activity of invertase in roots of the tolerant genotype was also observed, which could be related to greater root growth of this cultivar when submitted to Al3+ stress. Moreover, Al3+-induced callose accumulation was a late response occurring in the same areas where Al3+ was present.