Quantitative estimation of aluminium toxicity in cultured tobacco cells: Correlation between aluminium uptake and growth inhibition

Yoko Yamamoto, Sanae Rikiishi, Yi Chieh Chang, Kanji Ono, Minobu Kasai, Hideaki Matsumoto

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61 Citations (Scopus)


The relationship between aluminium (Al) uptake and growth inhibition was studied in tobacco cells (Nicotiana tabacum L. cv. Samsun; nonchlorophyllic cell line) in suspension culture. Cells at the logarithmic phase of growth were treated with 100 μM A1C13 in modified Murashige-Skoog medium prepared without Pi and EDTA (pH 4.0) for up to 21 h. After treatment, the inhibition of cell growth by Al was estimated from the growth of the Al-treated cells relative to that of the control cells during post-treatment culture. Neither Al uptake nor the inhibition of the growth occurred with less than a 10-h exposure but then both parameters increased rapidly, reaching maximum values after an 18-h exposure. When cells were treated with AlCl3 at various concentrations for 18 h, the extent of growth inhibition was found to be a function of the Al content of the cells. The dose-response curve (Al uptake versus growth inhibition) resembled the curve expected for "single-hit" kinetics. Extrapolation from the curve suggested that the uptake of 1 × 1011 Al atoms per cell is the minimum dose that inhibits cell growth. Cells of stationary phase were resistant to Al and did not take up Al, an indication that the uptake of Al depends on the active growth of cells. Results of several types of experiment (hematoxylin staining, washing with chelators, digestion of cell walls) indicated that Al was incorporated inside the cells. Together, therefore, our results suggest that the amount of Al absorbed by the cells is a determining factor in the inhibition of growth by Al.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-583
Number of pages9
JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Aluminium toxicity
  • Aluminium uptake
  • Growth phase
  • Nicotiana tabacum
  • One-hit kinetics
  • Suspension culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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