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Structural analysis of the cell walls regenerated by carrot protoplasts

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A procedure was developed to isolate protoplasts rapidly from carrot (Daucus carota L. cv. Danvers) cells in liquid culture. High purity of cell-wall-degrading enzymes and ease of isolation each contributed to maintenance of viability and initiation of regeneration of the cell wall by a great majority of the protoplasts. We used this system to re-evaluate the chemical structure and physical properties of the incipient cell wall. Contrary to other reports, callose, a (1 → 3)β-d-glucan whose synthesis is associated with wounding, was not a component of the incipient wall of carrot protoplasts. Intentional wounding by rapid shaking or treatment with dimethyl sulfoxide initiated synthesis of callose, detected both by Aniline blue and Cellufluor fluorescence of dying cells and by an increase in (1 → 3)-linked glucan quantified in methylation analyses. Linkage analyses by gas-liquid chromatography of partially methylated alditol-acetate derivatives of polysaccharides of the incipient wall of protoplasts and various fractions of the cell walls of parent cells showed that protoplasts quickly initiated synthesis of the same pectic and hemicellulosic polymers as normal cells, but acid-resistant cellulose was formed slowly. Complete formation of the wall required 3 d in culture, and at least 5 d were required before the wall could withstand turgor. Pectic substances synthesized by protoplasts were less anionic than those of parent cells, and became more highly charged during wall regeneration. We propose that de-esterification of the carboxyl groups of pectin uronic-acid units permits formation of a gel that envelops the protoplast, and the rigid cellulose-hemicellulose frame-work forms along with this gel matrix.

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dimethyl sulfoxide


extracellular polymers


ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid






N-tris(hydroxymethyl)methyl-2-amino-ethanesufonic acid


trifluoroacetic acid


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Correspondence to Nicholas C. Carpita.

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Journal paper No. 11,776 of the Purdue University Agriculture Experiment Station

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Shea, E.M., Gibeaut, D.M. & Carpita, N.C. Structural analysis of the cell walls regenerated by carrot protoplasts. Planta 179, 293–308 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00391074

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Key words

  • Callose
  • Cell culture (cell-wall regeneration)
  • Cell wall (composition, regeneration)
  • Daucus (cell-wall regeneration)
  • Pectic substances
  • Protoplast (wall formation)