We synthesized azo dye- and fluorescence-labeled cis-cinnamic acid analogues possessing inhibitory activity against lettuce root growth and a trans-isomer without bioactivity as a control probe. The radicles incubated with the azo dye-labeled analogue were stained red, with their tips especially deeply dyed. The fluorescent images of the radicles incubated with each of these molecular probes depicted that the root cap was fluorescence-stained. However, images of the control radicles prepared by staining with the trans-isomer fluorescent probe did not show emission at the root cap. These contrasts suggest specific localization of the cis-cinnamate analogue at the columella cells.
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