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Plant Physiol. 2000 Oct;124(2):599-608.

Identification of a new glucosinolate-rich cell type in Arabidopsis flower stalk.

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  • 1School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor LL57 2UW, United Kingdom.


Distribution of K, Ca, Cl, S, and P in freeze-dried sections of Arabidopsis flower stalk was analyzed by energy dispersive x-ray imaging. Concentrations of these elements in different cell types were quantified by microanalysis of single-cell samples and phloem exudates. Results showed a differential pattern of distribution for all five elements. K concentration was found to be highest in the parenchymatous tissue around vascular bundles. Ca and Cl were present mainly in the central part of the flower stalk. P was largely located in the bundles and in the parenchyma surrounding them. S signal was extraordinary high in groups of cells (S-cells) situated between the phloem of every vascular bundle and the endodermis. Enzymatic hydrolysis by thioglucosidase of cell sap collected from S-cells using a glass microcapillary resulted in the release of glucose, indicating that these cells contain glucosinolates at high (> 100 mM) concentration, which is consistent with the concentration of S (> 200 mM) estimated by x-ray analysis of cell sap samples. Since their position outside of the phloem is ideally suited for protecting the long-distance transport system from feeding insects, the possible roles of these cells as components of a plant defense system are discussed.

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