Local intercellular communication is involved in tracheary element (TE) differentiation of zinnia (Zinnia elegans L.) mesophyll cells and mediated by a proteinous macro-molecule, which was designated xylogen. To characterize and isolate xylogen, a bioassay system to monitor the activity of xylogen was developed, in which mesophyll cells were embedded in microbeads of agarose gel at a low (2.0-4.3×104 cells ml-1) or high density (8.0-9.0×104 cells ml-1) and microbeads of different cell densities were cultured together in a liquid medium to give a total density of 2.1- 2.5×104 cells ml-1. Without any additives, the frequency of TE differentiation was much smaller in the low-density microbeads than in the high-density microbeads. This low level of TE differentiation in the low-density microbeads was attributable to the shortage of xylogen. When cultures were supplemented with conditioned medium (CM) prepared from zinnia cell suspensions undergoing TE differentiation, the frequency of TE differentiation in the low-density microbeads increased remarkably, indicating the activity of xylogen in the CM. The xylogen activity in CM was sensitive to proteinase treatments. Xylogen was bound to galactose-specific lectins such as Ricinus communis agglutinin and peanut agglutinin, and precipitated by β-glucosyl Yariv reagent. These results indicate that xylogen is a kind of arabinogalactan protein.
- Arabinogalactan protein
- Local intercellular communication
- Tracheary element differentiation
- Zinnia elegans
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology