Journal Article

A glycoconjugate from corms of saffron plant (<i>Crocus sativus</i> L.) inhibits root growth and affects <i>in vitro</i> cell viability

José A. Fernández, Julio Escribano, Abel Piqueras and Joaquín Medina

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Volume 51, issue 345, pages 731-737
Published in print April 2000 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online April 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:
A glycoconjugate from corms of saffron plant (Crocus sativus L.) inhibits root growth and affects in vitro cell viability

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A glycoconjugate has been characterized from saffron corms (Crocus sativus L.) that inhibits the growth of roots of Nicotiana tabacum and Arabidopsis thaliana, at concentrations ranging from 1–100 μg m−3. Roots of seedlings grown in the presence 0.1 μg m−3 glycoconjugate showed bulging of epidermal cells, whereas at 10 μg m−3, roots were completely devoid of hairs. At 100 μg m−3 glycoconjugate the cell walls of the root vascular tissues were thicker and, overall, the vascular tissue was enlarged. In addition, this glycan is cytotoxic to isolated tobacco cells and protoplasts, with 50% cell death induced by 0.5 and 2μg m−3 glycoconjugate, respectively. Morphological and biochemical changes induced by the exposure to the glycoconjugate included cell size decrease, loss of regular cell shape, cytoplasm collapse, and release of intracellular proteins. This molecule at low concentrations (0.1μg m−3) mimics the effects of Yariv phenylglycosides and of mutant Arabidopsis which present defective or missing arabinogalactan‐proteins (AGPs) in roots, indicating the glycoconjugate might interact with cell surface AGPs.

Keywords: Crocus sativus L.; glycoconjugate; proteoglycan; root morphogenesis.; AGP, arabinogalactan‐protein; (β‐d‐Glc)3, (β‐d‐glucosyl)3 Yariv phenylglycoside; BSA, bovine serum albumin; FDA, fluorescein diacetate; IC50=concentration giving half‐maximal inhibition; MS, Murashige and Skoog; Rha, rhamnose.

Journal Article.  3702 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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