Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The cell-specific expression of two arabinogalactan protein (AGP) epitopes recognized by monoclonal antibodies JIM8 and JIM13 is reported in maize roots. Employing immunofluorescence and immunogold electron microscopy, the JIM8 antibody was shown to label exclusively protophloem sieve elements, while the JIM13 antibody labelled sieve elements very strongly and adjacent pericycle and companion cells, as well as sloughing root cap cells less strongly. Since the labelling of sieve elements with JIM8 antibody was specific and did not spread to other cell types during root development, it is concluded that this AGP epitope can serve as a specific marker of these specialized cells within the maize root. In the case of the AGP epitope recognized by JIM13 antibody, part of the immunofluorescence label was also found to be associated with cytoplasmic strands in the pericycle and sloughing root cap cells. Immunogold-labelling of sieve elements revealed the association of both AGP epitopes (JIM8 and JIM13) with cortical sieve element reticulum and plasma membranes. Labelling of sieve element reticulum was prominent at its domains of adhesion to the plasma membrane, P-type plastids, and mitochondria. Based on our subcellular studies, we propose a new function of AGP epitopes in endomembrane recognition and adhesion within the sieve elements of maize roots.
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