The transport of ions and metabolites through plasmodesmata has been thought to be controlled at the neck region where the cytoplasmic annulus is constricted and where callose has also been localised. In order to determine the possible structural and functional effects of callose, its deposition was inhibited through incubation of the plant tissue with 2-deoxy-D-glucose (DDG) for 1 h prior to fixation in 2.5% glutaraldehyde. The inhibition of callose formation was monitored through aniline blue-induced fluorescence of callose. The neck region of the plasmodesmata fromAllium cepa L. roots treated with DDG exhibited a funnel-shaped configuration. This is in contrast to the plasmodesmata from tissue not incubated with DDG, which exhibited constricted necks similar to those previously reported. Both initial dissection and glutaraldehyde fixation induced neck constriction in plasmodesmata, however, dissection of tissue increased the frequency of constrictions. The inhibition of callose formation by chemical means showed that the neck constrictions and raised collars in this area are artefacts due to physical wounding and glutaraldehyde fixation. The external electron-dense material observed when tannic acid is included in the primary fixative appears to be unrelated to the deposition of callose at the neck region.
KeywordsCell-to-cell communication Plasmodesmata Ultrastructure Wounding 2-Deoxy-D-glucose
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