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Plant Cell Physiol. 2014 Sep;55(9):1544-55. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcu084. Epub 2014 Jun 13.

Wide-range high-resolution transmission electron microscopy reveals morphological and distributional changes of endomembrane compartments during log to stationary transition of growth phase in tobacco BY-2 cells.

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RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, 230-0045 Japan
RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, 230-0045 Japan.
Department of Integrated Biosciences, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba, 277-8562 Japan.
Faculty of Science, Japan Women's University, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 112-8681 Japan.
Laboratory of Plant Nutrition, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, Hakozaki 6-10-1, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka, 812-8581 Japan.


Rapid growth of plant cells by cell division and expansion requires an endomembrane trafficking system. The endomembrane compartments, such as the Golgi stacks, endosome and vesicles, are important in the synthesis and trafficking of cell wall materials during cell elongation. However, changes in the morphology, distribution and number of these compartments during the different stages of cell proliferation and differentiation have not yet been clarified. In this study, we examined these changes at the ultrastructural level in tobacco Bright yellow 2 (BY-2) cells during the log and stationary phases of growth. We analyzed images of the BY-2 cells prepared by the high-pressure freezing/freeze substitution technique with the aid of an auto-acquisition transmission electron microscope system. We quantified the distribution of secretory and endosomal compartments in longitudinal sections of whole cells by using wide-range gigapixel-class images obtained by merging thousands of transmission electron micrographs. During the log phase, all Golgi stacks were composed of several thick cisternae. Approximately 20 vesicle clusters (VCs), including the trans-Golgi network and secretory vesicle cluster, were observed throughout the cell. In the stationary-phase cells, Golgi stacks were thin with small cisternae, and only a few VCs were observed. Nearly the same number of multivesicular body and small high-density vesicles were observed in both the stationary and log phases. Results from electron microscopy and live fluorescence imaging indicate that the morphology and distribution of secretory-related compartments dramatically change when cells transition from log to stationary phases of growth.


Electron microscopy; Golgi stack; High-pressure freezing; Tobacco BY-2 cells; Vesicle cluster; trans-Golgi network

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