, Volume 202, Issue 1, pp 70-75

Pectin methylesterases from poplar cambium and inner bark: localization, properties and seasonal changes

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In the course of a study on the early events of cambial derivative differentiation in Populus × euramericana, seasonal changes in the pattern of pectin methylesterase (PME, EC isoforms were followed. During the resting season, cell wall extracts contained mainly alkaline isoforms with an Mr around 55 kDa and optimal pH between 5.6 and 6.0. Neutral isoforms with an Mr around 35 kDa and optimal pH between 6.0 and 6.6 predominated in the extracts during the period of high meristematic activity. In the active cambial initials and in their immediate derivatives, the enzymes were immunolocalized exclusively in the dictyosomes. In older cells, they were present both in dictyosomes and in wall junctions. These results indicate that exportation of neutral PMEs towards the walls might be considered as an early marker of differentiation in cambial derivatives.