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J Plant Res. 2013 Mar;126(2):233-41. doi: 10.1007/s10265-012-0522-6. Epub 2012 Oct 17.

Structure and immunocytochemical localization of photosynthetic enzymes in the lamina joint and sheath pulvinus of the C4 grass Arundinella hirta.

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Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan.


The C(4) grass Arundinella hirta exhibits a unique C(4) anatomy, with isolated Kranz cells (distinctive cells) and C(4)-type expression of photosynthetic enzymes in the leaf sheath and stem as well as in the leaf blade. The border zones between these organs are pale green. Those between the leaf blade and sheath and between the sheath and stem are called the lamina joint and sheath pulvinus, respectively, and are involved in gravity sensing. We investigated the structure and localization of C(3) and C(4) photosynthetic enzymes in these tissues. In both zones the epidermis lacked stomata. The inner tissue was composed of parenchyma cells and vascular bundles. The parenchyma cells were densely packed with small intercellular spaces and contained granal chloroplasts with large starch grains. No C(4)-type cellular differentiation was recognized. Western blot analysis showed that the lamina joint and pulvinus accumulated substantial amounts of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC), pyruvate,Pi dikinase (PPDK), and ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (rubisco). Immunogold electron microscopy revealed PEPC in the cytosol and both PPDK and rubisco in the chloroplasts of parenchyma cells, suggesting the occurrence of C(3) and C(4) enzymes within a single type of chlorenchyma cell. These data indicate that the lamina joint and pulvinus have unique expression patterns of C(3) and C(4) enzymes, unlike those in C(4)-type anatomy.

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