, Volume 135, Issue 3, pp 307-311

Isolation and identification of soluble polysaccharides in epidermal tissue of Allium cepa

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Because starch is absent from Allium-guard cells, another polysaccharide was sought that, in connection with stomatal opening, could be a source of organic anions. Analysis of isolated polysaccharides revealed xylose, arabinose, glucose, galactose, and galacturonic acid (3.4:1:1.6:0.7) to be components of the water-soluble mucilage of the epidermal strips of Allium cepa. However, the experiments gave no indication that the mucilage is the malate donator during the stomatal opening. After 14CO2 fixation the following substances were labeled: organic acids, especially malate and citrate, amino acids and the polysaccharide mentioned above; radioactive 3-phosphoglyceric acid and sugar phosphates were not found. Therefore we conclude that the Calvin cycle does not operate in the guard cells of Allium cepa.