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Plant Sci. 2012 Feb;183:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2011.10.015. Epub 2011 Oct 25.

Expression of Arabidopsis callose synthase 5 results in callose accumulation and cell wall permeability alteration.

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Department of Plant, Soil, and Entomological Sciences and Program of Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844, USA.


Callose is the major polysaccharide present in the callose wall of developing microspores and the growing pollen tube wall. It is also an essential component of other specialized cell walls and its synthesis can be induced by pathogen infection, wounding and environmental cues. Among the 12 callose synthase genes (CalS) present in the Arabidopsis genome, CalS5 plays the predominant role in the synthesis of the callose wall, callose plugs and pollen tube wall. When expressed as a GFP-tagged protein in cultured tobacco BY-2 cells, CalS5 was found to be present in the plasma membrane and the Golgi-related endomembranes. Unlike the cell plate-specific CalS1 isozyme, CalS5 was not concentrated to the cell plate at cytokinesis. Expression of CalS5 resulted in callose accumulation only in the cell wall of BY-2 cells. The fact that no callose was found in the endomembranes suggests that CalS5 is not functional in that compartment. These cells exhibited a decreased plasmolysis rate in hypotonic solutions and an increased cytolysis rate in hypertonic conditions. This study demonstrates that an artificial callose wall could be synthesized by expressing a callose synthase enzyme.

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