Journal Article

Changes in chalazal cell walls and in the peroxidase enzymes of the crease region during grain development in barley

M.P. Cochrane, L. Paterson and E. Gould

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 51, issue 344, pages 507-520
Published in print March 2000 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online March 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:
Changes in chalazal cell walls and in the peroxidase enzymes of the crease region during grain development in barley

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In an investigation of the role of peroxidase enzymes in the differentiation of the tissues of the crease region of barley, plants of winter barley cv. Halcyon were grown from anthesis onwards in controlled conditions at a constant temperature of 16 °C. Four ears were harvested at 2‐d intervals from 6 d after anthesis (daa) until 50 daa. Grains from mid‐ear were used for (i) fresh and dry weight determinations, (ii) extraction of crease tissue for the determination of peroxidase activity and for the separation of isozymes of peroxidase by isoelectric focusing (IEF) and (iii) detection of lignin and suberin in the tissues of the crease using autofluorescence and cytochemistry. Peroxidase activity was located histochemically in the crease tissue of cv. Chariot. Scanning electron microscopy studies were carried out on developing grains of cv. Blenheim. Maximum grain water content was achieved at 14 daa. Lignin and suberin were detected in the walls of the chalazal cells from 18 daa onwards. No changes in the staining of chalazal cell walls were detected at the end of grain filling (32 daa), but loss of autofluorescence and staining were observed at 42 daa, just prior to the final, rapid phase of grain dehydration. Peroxidase activity per fresh weight of crease tissue was high at 6 daa and low at 22 daa. It was also low between 32 and 40 daa, but it rose again from 42 daa onwards. IEF demonstrated that both anionic and cationic isozymes of peroxidase were present in crease tissue, the pattern of bands showing some marked changes during the course of grain development.

Keywords: Barley; peroxidase; chalazal cell walls; grain development; microscopy.

Journal Article.  8408 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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