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Mol Plant. 2009 Sep;2(5):910-21. doi: 10.1093/mp/ssp049. Epub 2009 Jul 15.

Cell wall microstructure analysis implicates hemicellulose polysaccharides in cell adhesion in tomato fruit pericarp parenchyma.

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Centre for Plant Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdom.


Methods developed to isolate intact cells from both unripe and ripe tomato fruit pericarp parenchyma have allowed the cell biological analysis of polysaccharide epitopes at the surface of separated cells. The LM7 pectic homogalacturonan epitope is a marker of the junctions of adhesion planes and intercellular spaces in parenchyma systems. The LM7 epitope persistently marked the former edge of adhesion planes at the surface of cells separated from unripe and ripened tomato fruit and also from fruits with the Cnr mutation. The LM11 xylan epitope was associated, in sections, with cell walls lining intercellular space but the epitope was not detected at the surface of isolated cells, being lost during cell isolation. The LM15 xyloglucan epitope was present at the surface of cells isolated from unripe fruit in a pattern reflecting the former edge of cell adhesion planes/intercellular space but with gaps and apparent breaks. An equivalent pattern of LM15 epitope occurrence was revealed at the surface of cells isolated by pectate lyase action but was not present in cells isolated from ripe fruit or from Cnr fruit. In contrast to wild-type cells, the LM5 galactan and LM21 mannan epitopes occurred predominantly in positions reflecting intercellular space in Cnr, suggesting a concerted alteration in cell wall microstructure in response to this mutation. Galactanase and mannanase, along with pectic homogalacturonan-degrading enzymes, were capable of releasing cells from unripe fruit parenchyma. These observations indicate that hemicellulose polymers are present in architectural contexts reflecting cell adhesion and that several cell wall polysaccharide classes are likely to contribute to cell adhesion/cell separation in tomato fruit pericarp parenchyma.

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