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ABSTRACT: Growth of tobacco cells at the logarithmic phase was inhibited after treatment with both AlCl 3 and FeSO 4 in modified Murashige-Skoog medium prepared without P i and EDTA at pH 5.0 for up to 20 h, whereas cells treated with either AlCl 3 or FeSO 4 (at concentrations up to 100 μM, respectively) grew normally. These results suggest the synergistic inhibition of growth by Al3+ and Fe2+ ions. During the exposure to both salts, there was a lag time of about 10 h before growth inhibition became apparent in cultures of cells upon treatment with the two salts together. Then the extent of inhibition increased and reached a maximum value after exposure for 18 h. After the lag period, cells treated with both salts, but not cells treated with either salt alone, exhibited significant increases in the amounts of both aluminum and iron in the cells and could be stained with hematoxylin, with the nuclei staining especially strongly. Cells treated with both salts also exhibited a decrease in the number of cells that could be plasmolyzed in 1 M mannitol, a decrease in the number of cells that could be stained with fluorescein diacetate, a decrease in the amount of potassium in cells, and an increase in the extent of lipid peroxidation. These results suggest that aluminum causes the peroxidation of lipids in the presence of iron and that lipid peroxidation alters the permeability of the plasma membrane and leads to cell death.