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Plant Cell Physiol. 2003 Jul;44(7):661-6.

The ER body, a novel endoplasmic reticulum-derived structure in Arabidopsis.

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  • 1Department of Botany, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Kyoto, 606-8502 Japan.


Plant cells develop various endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-derived structures with specific functions. The ER body, a novel ER-derived compartment in Arabidopsis, is a spindle-shaped structure (approximately 10 microm long and approximately 1 microm wide) that is surrounded by ribosomes. Similar structures were found in many Brassicaceae plants in the 1960s and 1970s, but their main components and biological functions have remained unknown. ER bodies can be visualized in transgenic Arabidopsis expressing the green fluorescent protein with an ER-retention signal. A large number of ER bodies are observed in cotyledons, hypocotyls and roots of seedlings, but very few are observed in rosette leaves. Recently nai1, a mutant that does not develop ER bodies in whole seedlings, was isolated. Analysis of the nai1 mutant reveals that a beta-glucosidase, called PYK10, is the main component of ER bodies. The putative biological function of PYK10 and the inducibility of ER bodies in rosette leaves by wound stress suggest that the ER body functions in the defense against herbivores.

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