Plasmodesmata in integrated cell signalling: insights from development and environmental signals and stresses.
De novo formation of cytoplasmic cell connections are studied at the graft interface of 5 day old in vitro heterografts ofVicia faba onHelianthus annuus. Continuous and half plasmodesmata, both branched and unbranched, are described at various stages of development in non-division walls between unlike and like dedifferentiated callus cells. In apical portions of protruding callus cells and in the contact zone between opposing cells extremely thin wall parts with a striking ER/plasmalemma contact are observed. During subsequent thickening of the modified wall parts cytoplasmic strands enclosing constricted ER cisternae are entrapped within the newly deposited wall material. These cytoplasmic strands represent half plasmodesmata which—in case of fusion with corresponding structures of adjoining cells across the loosened wall matrix — form continuous cell connections. Golgi vesicles secreting wall material are involved in the process of forming half and continuous plasmodesmata, thus following the same mechanism of plasmodesmata development as described for isolated protoplasts in cell cultures. The findings suggest the existence of a unifying mechanism of secondary formation of plasmodesmata showing far-reaching similarities with the establishment of primary cell connections.