Investigation of Contractile Roots in the Agave Family
Contractile roots are roots that have grown in some plants, such as in the Yuccas and Agave families. The specialized fleshly roots will contract at the end of the growing season and pull the geophilic organ downwards. The formation of contractile roots depends on corm size, temperature fluctuations, and light. Only small and medium sized corms produce contractile roots. The function of contractile root is to establish the new corm at a deeper position. Also, we are searching for the orientation of microtubules in Agaves Angustifolia, Agaves Sisalana, Agaves Deserti, and Agaves Americano . The methods are as follow: plastic and paraffin embedding techniques, free hand sectioning with staining techniques, and microtubule set up (Imminofluorescence) to determine the orientation of the microtubules. Also, by measuring the roots of Agaves family weekly, we observed that the roots are contracting each week as the lengths of the roots keep decreasing. The experiments and observations regarding the Agavaceae show that they have been adapted to the desert environment, and they have contractile roots.
Aryaee, Yasaman, "Investigation of Contractile Roots in the Agave Family" (2004). URC Student Scholarship.
NSF-Research Experience for Undergraduates Fellowship