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The causes of sinking and floating in turions of Myriophyllum verticillatum
Weber, J.A.; Noodén, L.D. (2005). The causes of sinking and floating in turions of Myriophyllum verticillatum. Aquat. Bot. 83(3): 219-226
In: Aquatic Botany. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0304-3770, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Density; Floating; Sinking; Starch; Turions; Myriophyllum verticillatum

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  • Weber, J.A.
  • Noodén, L.D., correspondent

    The sinking and floating (density) of the special winter buds (turions) produced by many aquatic plants play important roles in their life cycles, yet there has been little experimental study of these phenomena. However, it has been postulated that starch determines the density of turions. In order to test this hypothesis, turions of Myriophyllum verticillatum L. were collected from October through April and analyzed for density, dry-to-fresh-weight ratio and starch content. Density did not correlate closely (R2 = 0.37) with the dry-to-fresh-weight ratios. Density strongly correlated (R2 = 0.99) with starch only in the January collections, but not at several other times, so starch content alone is not always the major determinant of turion density. Intracellular lacunae (potentially gas spaces) also occur within the axes of these turions, and the lacunal volumes increased ca. 20-fold as they resumed growth, at which time the turions started to float. Significantly, turions, which were near the density of water, could be sunk or floated by changing the ambient pressure (which would alter their internal gas volume). Thus, starch has a role in determining the density of M. verticillatum turions, but the amount of intercellular gas space may be more important, especially when they resume growth in the spring.

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