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American Journal of Plant Physiology
Year: 2006  |  Volume: 1  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 65 - 75

Thin Layer Chromatography Analysis of Organic Acids in Maize (Zea mays L.) Plants under Al and Zn Toxicity

Radhouane Chaffai, Ali Tekitek and Ezzedine El Ferjani    

Abstract: Thin layer chromatography analysis of organic acids from maize plants supplied with Al or Zn (500 and 1000 μM) is reported here to elucidate the role of organic acids in heavy metal sequestration. Organic acids detection reveals three spots in root extracts, corresponding to malonic (Rf 0.25), fumaric (Rf 0.33) and salicylic acid (Rf 0.78). Moreover, this analysis indicate the spots in shoot extracts corresponding to tartaric (Rf 0.17), malonic (Rf 0.26), malic (Rf 0.33), succinic (Rf 0.44) and salicylic acid (Rf 0.75). Al or Zn treatments generated very intense spot (Rf 0.75) that increased in intensity in root and shoot extracts, as the concentration of Al or Zn increased. TLC analysis revealed differences in spot intensities between the Al and Zn-treated plants. In roots, malonic acid accumulates more with Zn than with Al, in contrast to the shoots. In shoots Zn treatment at 500 μM caused a more increase in intensity of spot corresponding to malate, whereas, salicylic acid accumulation was much higher in the Zn-treated extracts at 1000 μM. Together, we hypothesize that organic acids may be involved in Al or Zn sequestration. The observations that Al generally produced more increase than Zn in the spot intensity in root and shoot extracts, suggest that organic acids are more involved in Al than in Zn detoxification.

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