Journal Article

A cytochemical and immunocytochemical analysis of the wall labyrinth apparatus in leaf transfer cells in <i>Elodea canadensis</i>

Roberto Ligrone, Kevin C. Vaughn and Nicoletta Rascio

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 107, issue 4, pages 717-722
Published in print April 2011 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online February 2011 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcr010
A cytochemical and immunocytochemical analysis of the wall labyrinth apparatus in leaf transfer cells in Elodea canadensis

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

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Background and Aims

Transfer cells are plant cells specialized in apoplast/symplast transport and characterized by a distinctive wall labyrinth apparatus. The molecular architecture and biochemistry of the labyrinth apparatus are poorly known. The leaf lamina in the aquatic angiosperm Elodea canadensis consists of only two cell layers, with the abaxial cells developing as transfer cells. The present study investigated biochemical properties of wall ingrowths and associated plasmalemma in these cells.

Methods

Leaves of Elodea were examined by light and electron microscopy and ATPase activity was localized cytochemically. Immunogold electron microscopy was employed to localize carbohydrate epitopes associated with major cell wall polysaccharides and glycoproteins.

Key Results

The plasmalemma associated with the wall labyrinth is strongly enriched in light-dependent ATPase activity. The wall ingrowths and an underlying wall layer share an LM11 epitope probably associated with glucuronoarabinoxylan and a CCRC-M7 epitope typically associated with rhamnogalacturonan I. No labelling was observed with LM10, an antibody that recognizes low-substituted and unsubstituted xylan, a polysaccharide consistently associated with secondary cell walls. The JIM5 and JIM7 epitopes, associated with homogalacturonan with different degrees of methylation, appear to be absent in the wall labyrinth but present in the rest of cell walls.

Conclusions

The wall labyrinth apparatus of leaf transfer cells in Elodea is a specialized structure with distinctive biochemical properties. The high level of light-dependent ATPase activity in the plasmalemma lining the wall labyrinth is consistent with a formerly suggested role of leaf transfer cells in enhancing inorganic carbon inflow. The wall labyrinth is a part of the primary cell wall. The discovery that the wall ingrowths in Elodea have an antibody-binding pattern divergent, in part, from that of the rest of cell wall suggests that their carbohydrate composition is modulated in relation to transfer cell functioning.

Keywords: Aquatic plants; ATPase activity; cell walls; Elodea; immunogold labelling; transfer cells

Journal Article.  3873 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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