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Abstract

The occurrence of gibberellins and abscisic acid (ABA) in extracts of roots of Vicia faba was demonstrated by gas-liquid chromatography (GLC) of the methylated eluates from the relevant zones of thin-layer chromatograms (TLC) of purified extracts. Quantitative determination of the hormone contents in extracts from upper and lower halves of roots which had been kept in the horizontal position for 30 min indicated a redistribution of the hormones during the geotropic stimulation. Gibberellins whose methyl esters appeared at the retention time of methylated gibberellic acid (GA3), used as a standard, occurred in higher concentration in the upper than in the lower halves (ratio 2.08:1), whereas the concentration of ABA was highest in the lower halves (ratio 3.08:1). The ratio of the hormones in right and left halves of vertical roots was close to 1:1. Indoleacetic acid (IAA) and ABA were found to retard the elongation of roots of Vicia faba and Lepidium during the first 24 h. Additional experiments with Lepidium showed that this retardation occurs within the first hour after application. Low concentrations of GA3, when applied to germinating seeds just after the radicles had broken the seed coat, stimulated root elongation in Vicia faba within 24 h and in Lepidium within 36 h. When applied to Lepidium seedlings with 20 mm long roots, GA3 showed a stimulatory trend within the first 2 h, and distinct stimulation in the subsequent hours, particularly at the lowest concentrations, 0.01 and 0.001 mg/1. These results suggest the possibility of a participation of ABA and gibberellins (in addition to IAA) in the development of the positive geotropic curvature.