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Cytoplasmic reorganization accompanies the deposition of a bipolar cell wall in the large-celled red alga Anotrichium tenue

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The filamentous red alga Anotrichium tenue C. Aghard (Naegeli) (formerly Griffithsia tenuis C. Aghard; Baldock, 1976, Aust. T. Bot. 24, 509–593) has large (1–2 mm long), cylindrical, multinucleate cells that exhibit a daily, cyclic redistribution of chloroplasts. Chloroplasts accumulate in the mid-region of each growing cell during the day; consequently, filaments appear banded with a light apical end-band, a dark mid-band and a light basal end-band in each growing cell. Chloroplasts disperse at night so that the bands are no longer visible and the cells appear evenly pigmented. Anotrichium tenue also has a type of cell elongation, known as bipolar band growth, in which new material is added to the microfibrillar part of the wall in bands located at the apical and basal poles of elongating cells. This site of wall growth corresponds to the position of the light-colored end-bands present during the day. Here we examine the structural relationship between the cytoplasmic bands and the wall-growth bands. Our results show that, in addition to the previously described bipolar wall bands, there is a non-microfibrillar wall band in the mid-region of the cell. This wall component apparently branches from near the top of the microfibrillar outer wall and terminates near but not at the bottom of the cell. It contains nodules of sulphated polysaccharide material secreted from a band of vesicles, which co-localize with the chloroplasts in the mid-band. The outer wall appears to enclose the entire cell. Nuclei do not redistribute with the chloroplasts or wall vesicles into the mid-band but remain evenly distributed throughout the cytoplasm. Each wall component grows by a different mechanism. We show that two types of wall growth, diffuse and the bipolar-type of tip growth, occur in the same cell and we propose that the observed segregation of the cytoplasm supports localized growth of the unique inner wall component. Additionally, we show that A. tenue is an excellent model for study of the role and mechanism of cytoplasmic compartmentalization and cell polarity during plant cell growth.

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Correspondence to Anne W. Sylvester.

Additional information

We wish to thank Dr. Richard Cloney (University of Washington and Dr. Tom Schroeder (Friday Harbor Laboratories, Friday Harbor, Wash.) for helpful discussions and critical review of this work. We also thank Dr. Susan Waaland (University of Washington) for sharing her original observations on the chloroplast banding phenomenon in Anotrichium tenue. We are grateful to the Friday Harbor Laboratories for the use of their space and facilities. This research was supported by funds from the Washington Sea Grant Program (awarded to J.R.W.) and by the Developmental Biology Training Grant, predoctoral fellowship, National Institutes of Health, No. HD07183 to A.W.S.

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Sylvester, A.W., Waaland, J.R. Cytoplasmic reorganization accompanies the deposition of a bipolar cell wall in the large-celled red alga Anotrichium tenue . Planta 186, 273–281 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00196257

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Key words

  • Anotrichium
  • Cell growth
  • Cell wall growth
  • Chloroplast accumulation
  • Cytoplasmic segregation
  • Griffithsia
  • Rhodophyta