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Cytochemical identification of arabinogalactan protein in the outer epidermal wall of maize coleoptiles


Artificial carbohydrate antigen (Yariv reagent), fluorescence-labeled α-l-fucose-binding lectin, and β-D-galactose-binding lectin were used to localize arabinogalactan protein in sections of maize (Zea mays L.) coleoptiles. All three probes bind to cell walls of vascular tissue and the outer epidermis. Intense staining is obtained at the outer and inner faces of the growth-controlling outer epidermal wall. At the inner face of this wall the auxin-inducible “osmiophilic particles”, hitherto observed only by electron microscope (Kutschera et al. 1987, Planta 170, 168–180), are strongly stained by all three probes and can therefore be identified as deposits of arabinogalactan protein. It is proposed that this proteoglycan acts as an epidermal wallloosening factor in auxin-mediated coleoptile growth.

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arabinogalactan protein


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I thank Dr. R. Bergfeld for the electron micrograph of Fig. 13. This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.

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Schopfer, P. Cytochemical identification of arabinogalactan protein in the outer epidermal wall of maize coleoptiles. Planta 183, 139–142 (1991).

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Key words

  • Arabinogalactan protein
  • Auxin (coleoptile growth)
  • Cell wall (coleoptile growth)
  • Coleoptile (epidermal cell wall)
  • Epidermis (outer cell wall)
  • Zea (coleoptile growth)