, Volume 206, Issue 3, pp 349–361

Comparative investigation of primary and tertiary endodermal cell walls isolated from the roots of five monocotyledoneous species: chemical composition in relation to fine structure

  • Jürgen Zeier
  • Lukas Schreiber

DOI: 10.1007/s004250050410

Cite this article as:
Zeier, J. & Schreiber, L. Planta (1998) 206: 349. doi:10.1007/s004250050410


The chemical composition of isolated endodermal cell walls from the roots of the five monocotyledoneous species Monstera deliciosa Liebm., Iris germanica L., Allium cepa L., Aspidistra elatior Bl. and Agapanthus africanus (L.) Hoffmgg. was determined. Endodermal cell walls isolated from aerial roots of M. deliciosa were in their primary developmental state (Casparian bands). They contained large amounts of lignin (6.5% w/w) and only traces of suberin (0.5% w/w). Endodermal cell walls isolated from the other four species were in their tertiary developmental state. Lignin was still the more abundant cell wall polymer with amounts ranging from 3.8% (w/w, A. cepa) to 4.5% (w/w, I. germanica). However, compared to endodermal cell walls in their primary state of development (Casparian bands), tertiary endodermal cell walls contained significantly higher amounts of suberin, ranging from 1.8% (w/w, I. germanica) to 3.0% (w/w, A. africanus). Thus, chemical characterization of endodermal cell walls from five different species revealed that lignin was the dominant cell wall polymer in the Casparian band of M. deliciosa, whereas tertiary endodermal cell walls contained, in addition to lignin, increasing amounts of suberin (I. germanica, A. cepa, A. elatior and A. africanus). Besides the two biopolymers lignin and suberin, cell wall carbohydrates in the range of between 40 and 60% were also quantified. The sum of all cell wall compounds investigated by gas chromatography resulted in a recovery of 50–80% of the dry weight of the isolated cell wall material. Quantitative chromatographic results in combination with microscopic studies are consistent with the existence of a distinct suberin lamella and lignified tertiary wall deposits. From these data it can be concluded that the barrier properties of the endodermis towards the apoplastic transport of ions and water will increase from primary to tertiary endodermal cell walls due to their increasing amounts of suberin.

Key words: Apoplast Casparian strip Endodermis Lignin Root Suberin 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jürgen Zeier
    • 1
  • Lukas Schreiber
    • 1
  1. 1.Julius-von-Sachs-Institut für Biowissenschaften, Lehrstuhl für Botanik II, Universität Würzburg, Julius-von-Sachs-Platz 3, D-97082, Würzburg

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