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Monoclonal antibodies as molecular probes for cell wall antigens of the brown alga, Fucus


Monoclonal antibodies to cell wall carbohydrates were produced against carbohydrates extracted from the brown alga, Fucus distichus ssp. edentatus (de la Pyl.) Powell. Mouse spleen cells were immunized in vitro with alginate and fucans, and hybridoma cultures were screened by enzyme immunoassay. Most antibodies were immunoglobulin (Ig)M and one was IgA. Antigens were localized on methacrylate sections of Fucus tissues by indirect immunofluorescence. Each antibody labelled tissues with a distinctive distribution pattern in cell walls and extracellular matrix regions, demonstrating that each antibody was specific for a different extracellular epitope (i.e., antigenic determinant). Most antibodies also labelled intracellularly on at least one cell type. Punctate, fibrous or clumped labelling was characteristic of individual antibodies and provided information related to carbohydrate structure and solubility. These antibodies are molecular probes for small regions on cell wall polymers and should be valuable in studies of cell wall synthesis, secretion, assembly and modification as well as carbohydrate fine structure and function.

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ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid


enzyme immunoassay


immunoglobulin (IgG, IgM and IgA are immunoglobulin types)


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Vreeland, V., Slomich, M. & Laetsch, W.M. Monoclonal antibodies as molecular probes for cell wall antigens of the brown alga, Fucus . Planta 162, 506–517 (1984).

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Key words

  • Carbohydrate antigens (alginate, fucan)
  • Cell wall
  • Immunofluorescence
  • Fucus
  • Monoclonal antibody
  • Phaeophyta