Key words Arabinogalactan-proteins
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Embryogenic units of friable maize callus are formed as globular or oblong packets of tightly associated meristematic cells. These units are surrounded by conspicuous cell walls visible in light microscopy after staining with basic fuchsin. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that embryogenic cells are rich in endoplasmic reticulum, polysomes and small protein bodies, and that the outermost layer of their cell walls is composed of fibrillar material. Electron microscopy has also shown that this material covers the surface of embryogenic cells as a distinct layer which we denote as extracellular matrix surface network (ECMSN). Employing histochemical staining with β-glucosyl Yariv phenylglycoside, we localized arabinogalactan-proteins (AGPs) to the outer cell walls of embryogenic units including ECMSN. The most prominent staining was found in cell-cell junction domains. Large non-embryogenic callus cells were not stained with this AGP-specific dye. Immunofluorescence and silver-enhanced immunogold labelling using monoclonal antibody JIM4 has shown that the ECMSN of embryogenic cells is equipped with JIM4 epitope, while non-embryogenic callus cells are devoid of this epitope. We propose that some specific AGPs of the ECMSN might be relevant for cell-cell adhesion and recognition of embryogenic cells during early embryogenic stages, and that the JIM4 antibody can serve as an early marker of embryogenic competence in maize callus culture.
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