Localization of sucrose synthase and callose in freeze-substituted secondary-wall-stage cotton fibers
Several recent biochemical studies concerning the hemicellulosic content of the developing cotton fibre wall have pointed to an important increase of 1,3-linked glucans at the onset of the secondary wall formation and their slow decrease until the end of fibre development (Meinert andDelmer 1977,Huwyler et al. 1978, 1979,Maltby et al. 1979). These almost insoluble glucans are extra-cellular and possibly associated with the S1 or winding layer, but no other data on their exact localization were given. By means of a specific fluorescence method, using a 0.05% decolourized aniline blue solution, we show that one of these 3-linked glucans,callose, is always localized, independently of the fibre age, in the innermost wall layer bordering the cell lumen, from the onset of the secondary thickening up to the end of fibre development. Some possible roles assumed by these callose deposits are suggested and discussed. They may be involved in the normal mechanism of cellulose biosynthesis, as being effectively consumed by turnover or, more probably, as forming a permanently restored interface or matrix where cellulose microfibrils undergo a sort of maturation and are oriented before their definitive incorporation in the organized cell wall. They are not to be confused with the wound callose deposits which characterize damaged or immature fibres.