Ethidium bromide (EB), at 10-5 to 10-4 M, progressively inhibits NAA-induced rooting of mung bean cuttings. Cycloheximide (CH), 6-methylpurine (6-MP) and kinetin (KIN) also inhibited rooting at the same concentrations, although CH and 6-MP were more effective.
At 70 and up to 130 hours of incubation, after cuttings received a 1-ml pulse of NAA (10-4 M), they exhibited a progressive increase in the number of observed adventitious roots. The addition of one of the inhibitors, 6-MP, EB or KIN to cuttings, pulsed 48 hours earlier with NAA, showed an initial slight inhibition with increased inhibition over time. CH, however, inhibited rooting immediately after addition. From these and other similar kinetic studies, it appears that 6-MP, EB and KIN operate at the transcriptional level and that CH inhibits translation.
Lineweaver-Burk plot analysis of NAA-induced rooting inhibition showed that EB may act as a competitive inhibitor of NAA. Since EB is a known intercalating agent and competitively inhibits NAA-induced rooting, NAA may influence gene expression by ultimately binding to DNA. Studies with space-filling and computer-generated models show that both NAA and EB can bind to certain dinucleotides by an intercalation mechanism.