, Volume 238, Issue 3, pp 549–560 | Cite as

Histochemical study of trans-polyisoprene accumulation by spectral confocal laser scanning microscopy and a specific dye showing fluorescence solvatochromism in the rubber-producing plant, Eucommia ulmoides Oliver

  • Yoshihisa NakazawaEmail author
  • Tsuyoshi Takeda
  • Nobuaki Suzuki
  • Tatsushi Hayashi
  • Yoko Harada
  • Takeshi Bamba
  • Akio Kobayashi
Original Article


A microscopic technique combining spectral confocal laser scanning microscopy with a lipophilic fluorescent dye, Nile red, which can emit trans-polyisoprene specific fluorescence, was developed, and unmixed images of synthesized trans-polyisoprene in situ in Eucommia ulmoides were successfully obtained. The images showed that trans-polyisoprene was initially synthesized as granules in non-articulated laticifers that changed shape to fibers during laticifer maturation. Non-articulated laticifers are developed from single laticiferous cells, which are differentiated from surrounding parenchyma cells in the cambium. Therefore, these observations suggested that trans-polyisoprene biosynthesis first started in laticifer cells as granules and then the granules accumulated and fused in the inner space of the laticifers over time. Finally, laticifers were filled with the synthesized trans-polyisoprene, which formed a fibrous structure fitting the laticifers shape. Both trans- and cis-polyisoprene are among the most important polymers naturally produced by plants, and this microscopic technique combined with histological study should provide useful information in the fields of plant histology, bioindustry and phytochemistry.


Histochemical staining Latex Laticifer Nile red Unmixed image 



Spectral confocal laser scanning microscopy


Size exclusion chromatography



This work was partially supported by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshihisa Nakazawa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tsuyoshi Takeda
    • 1
  • Nobuaki Suzuki
    • 1
  • Tatsushi Hayashi
    • 1
  • Yoko Harada
    • 1
  • Takeshi Bamba
    • 1
  • Akio Kobayashi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biotechnology, Graduate School of EngineeringOsaka UniversitySuitaJapan

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