Algal Walls — Cytology of Formation

  • D. G. Robinson
Part of the Encyclopedia of Plant Physiology book series (PLANT, volume 13 / B)


Although the production of nonfibrillar extracellular polysaccharides is a feature of nearly all algal cells and indeed attains industrial importance in some instances (kelps), comparatively few cytological studies have been carried out with respect to their sites of synthesis and modes of liberation. Nevertheless it is clear that elements of the endomembrane system (endoplasmic reticulum, ER; Golgi apparatus, GA) are principally involved. Autoradiography (Evans et al. 1974) and comparative micromorphometry of secretory and nonsecretory stages (Ramus 1972, Ramus and Robins 1975) have implicated the GA in red algal mucilage production. The participation of ER and GA in the production of the glycoprotein adhesive secreted by the ship-fouling green alga Enteromorpha has been demonstrated by cytochemical (for the carbohydrate moiety) and autoradiographic (for the protein moiety) means (Callow and Evans 1977). Ultrastructural, autoradiographical, and microanalytical (for sulfur detection in sulfated polysaccharides) evidence pertaining to GA participation in slime-polysaccharide secretion has also been provided for various representatives of the brown algae (Evans and Holligan 1972, Evans et al. 1973, Evans and Callow 1974, Callow and Evans 1973, 1976). Analysis of isolated dictyosomal fractions from Fucus zygotes (Callow et al. 1978, Coughlan and Evans 1978) has furthermore shown this fraction to be the first labeled when 35S-sulfate is applied exogenously. Moreover this fraction contains an enzyme responsible for the transfer of galactose from UDP-galactose to fucose and fucoidan.


Cortical Microtubule Centric Diatom Terminal Complex Secondary Wall Formation Microfibril Orientation 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1981

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  • D. G. Robinson

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