, Volume 81, Issue 2, pp 171–176 | Cite as

Ultrastructural demonstration of a glycoproteinic surface coat in allergenic pollen grains by combined cetylpyridinium chloride precipitation and silver proteinate staining

  • Monika Grote
  • H. G. Fromme


In allergenic birch pollen grains, highly watersoluble surface substances were precipitated by the cationic detergent cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) during aqueous fixation. After processing the pollen for electron microscopy, ultrathin sections of pollen grains were subjected to the periodic acid — thiocarbohydrazide — silver proteinate (PA-TCH-SP) procedure according to Thiery (1967) for the detection of vicinal glycol groups. It was found that the material precipitated by CPC on the surface and within the exine cavities of the pollen wall strongly reacted with the PA-TCH-SP reagent thus indicating the presence of polysaccharides on the surface of birch pollen grains. In samples which had not been treated with the cationic detergent, PA-TCH-SP reactivity was reduced to thin linings on the surface and within the exine cavities. In both cases the exine proper did not stain whereas the intine showed moderate staining. Within the aperture region of the intine, PA-TCH-SP reactivity is preferably associated with fibrillar or reticular structures. The results are discussed with special reference to biochemical findings on allergenic birch pollen proteins.


Periodic Acid Allergenic Pollen Birch Pollen Cetylpyridinium Pollen Wall 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monika Grote
    • 1
  • H. G. Fromme
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Medizinische PhysikWestfälische Wilhelms-UniversitätMünsterFederal Republic of Germany

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