Plant Cell Wall - Aluminium Interactions: A Role In Aluminium Stress (2006–2008)
Soil acidity leads to aluminium (Al) toxicity, affecting farming on >30 million ha in Australia. Al-toxicity inhibits root growth but the underlying mechanisms are unclear and form the focus of this project. Initially, Al binds to anionic charges in the cell wall which constitutes the primary site of Al toxicity. We hypothesise that Al undergoes hydrolysis or polymerisation upon binding to the cell wall, and that the spatial distribution (linear charge density) of binding sites influences the conversion of soluble Al to more toxic non-exchangeable Al. We aim to investigate the kinetics and extent of the conversion of Al as influenced by sorbent type, pH and organic acid exudation. The outcome will help us to understand why Al is so toxic.