Localisation and characterisation of cell wall mannan polysaccharides in Arabidopsis thaliana
AuthorsHandford, Michael G.
Baldwin, Timothy C.
Prime, Tracy A.
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AbstractPolysaccharides containing b-1,4-mannosyl residues (mannans) are abundant in the lignified secondary cell walls of gymnosperms, and are also found as major seed storage polysaccharides in some plants, such as legume species. Although they have been found in a variety of angiosperm tissues, little is known about their presence and tissue localisation in the model angiosperm, Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. In this study, antibodies that specifically recognised mannans in competitive ELISA experiments were raised in rabbits. Using these antibodies, we showed that Golgi-rich vesicles derived from Arabidopsis callus were able to synthesise mannan polysaccharides in vitro. Immunofluorescence light microscopy and immunogold electron microscopy of Arabidopsis inflorescence stem sections revealed that the mannan polysaccharide epitopes were localised in the thickened secondary cell walls of xylem elements, xylem parenchyma and interfascicular fibres. Similarly, mannan epitopes were present in the xylem of the leaf vascular bundles. Surprisingly, the thickened epidermal cell walls of both leaves and stems also contained abundant mannan epitopes. Low levels were observed in most other cell types examined. Thus, mannans are widespread in Arabidopsis tissues, may be of particular significance in both lignified and non-lignified thickened cell walls. Polysaccharide analysis using carbohydrate gel electrophoresis (PACE) of cell wall preparations digested with a specific mannanase showed that there is glucomannan in inflorescence stems. The findings show that Arabidopsis can be used as a model plant in studies of the synthesis and functions of mannans.
CitationPlanta 2003, 218(1): 27-36