, Volume 156, Issue 1–2, pp 67–73 | Cite as

Detection of hemicelluloses specific to the cell wall of tracheary elements and phloem cells by fluorescein-conjugated lectins

  • T. Hogetsu


Binding of fluorescein-conjugated wheat-germ agglutinin (F-WGA) and some other lectins to tissues from various plants were examined by epifluorescence microscopy. F-WGA bound specifically to the walls of tracheary elements (TEs) and phloem cells of pea roots. The binding sites in TEs were localized only in the secondary thickening and became evident at very early stages of differentiation. Fluorescein-conjugated derivatives ofSolanum tuberosum lectin,Lycopersicon esculentum lectin, andDatura stramonium lectin, which bind N-acetylglucosamine residues as WGA, also bound to the secondary thickening of TEs of pea roots. The binding sites for F-WGA were not removed by extraction with hot EDTA and proteinase K, but removed by extraction with an alkali solution. The alkali-extracted binding sites from the roots were precipitated together with hemicelluloses by 80% ethanol. These results indicate that the binding sites are not present on pectins, proteins, or cellulose, but hemicelluloses. Localized distribution of the binding sites for F-WGA in TEs was found also in a variety of angiosperm plants.


Cell wall Fluorescein-conjugated wheat-germ agglutinin Hemicellulose Lectin Pisum sativum Tracheary element 



Bandeiraea simplicifolia lectin II


Datura stramonium lectin




Lycopersicon esculentum lectin




Solanum tuberosum lectin


tracheary element


wheat-germ agglutinin


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Hogetsu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pure and Applied Sciences, College of Arts and SciencesUniversity of TokyoTokyo

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