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Crop Science Abstract -

Vital Staining of Root Hairs in 12 Warm-Season Perennial Grasses


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 30 No. 4, p. 947-950
    Received: Sept 29, 1989

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. Marianne J. Oprisko ,
  2. Robert L. Green,
  3. James B. Beard and
  4. Charles E. Gates
  1. Dep. of Statistics, Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX 77843



Root hairs have been shown to absorb water and nutrients; thus, it may be important to characterize their quantity, size, and viability when studying components of drought resistance. The first objective was to find the most effective and precise vital stain for root hairs of warm-season perennial grasses. Sprigs of 12 genotypes representing six species were grown in sand culture in the greenhouse. Vital stain effectiveness in 0.05 M PO4 buffer (pH 7.0) was established by the percentage of genotypes in which vitality could be determined using the live/dead color difference. The five vital stains, with their percentage effectiveness over the 12 genotypes and their average absolute color difference values (none = 1, greatest = 4), were: 0.5 g/L Evan's blue, 100%, 3.3; 0.1 g/L methylene blue, 67%, 1.9; 1 g/L Congo red, 58%, 1.8; 0.1 g/L phenosafranin, 50%, 1.7; and 0.1 g/L neutral red, 25%, 1.4. Evan's blue was the best stain, in terms of greatest precision and least variability.

Contribution from the Texas Agric. Exp. Stn., Journal Article TA24877. Funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Golf Assoc. Green Section.

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