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Intercellular Pectic Protuberances in Asplenium: New Data on their Composition and Origin

Leroux, Olivier, Knox, J. Paul, Leroux, Frederic, Vrijdaghs, Alexander, Bellefroid, Elke, Borgonie, Gaëtan, Viane, Ronald L.L.
Annals of botany 2007 v.100 no.6 pp. 1165-1173
epitopes, extracellular space, intercellular spaces, xylan, cell walls, electron microscopy, xyloglucans, Asplenium, extensin
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Projections of cell wall material into the intercellular spaces between parenchymatic cells have been observed since the mid-19th century. Histochemical staining suggested that these intercellular protuberances are probably pectic in nature, but uncertainties about their origin, composition and biological function(s) have remained. METHODS: Using electron and light microscopy, including immunohistochemical methods, the structure and the presence of some major cell wall macromolecules in the intercellular pectic protuberances (IPPs) of the cortical parenchyma have been studied in a specimen of the Asplenium aethiopicum complex. KEY RESULTS: IPPs contained pectic homogalacturonan, but no evidence for pectic rhamnogalacturonan-I or xylogalacturonan epitopes was obtained. Arabinogalactan-proteins and xylan were not detected in cell walls, middle lamellae or IPPs of the cortical parenchyma, whereas xyloglucan was only found in its cell walls. Extensin (hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins) LM1 and JIM11 and JIM20 epitopes were detected specifically in IPPs but not in their adjacent cell walls or middle lamellae. CONCLUSIONS: It is postulated that IPPs do not originate exclusively from the middle lamellae because extensins were only found in IPPs and not in surrounding cell walls, intercellular space linings or middle lamellae, and because IPPs and their adjacent cell walls are discontinuous.