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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

The occurrence and distribution of myrosin cells and myrosinases has been followed in different organs during development of 7 species of the Brassicaceae. Using light and electron microscopy the myrosin cells were characterized morphologically and compared to other idioblasts in the tissue. Myrosin grains stain specifically with toluidine blue, methylene blue azur-II, lactophenol aniline blue and fuchsin. At the ultrastructural level myrosin grains were seen to contain proteins, and oleosomes occupy most of the myrosin cells at an early stage of development in young seedlings, together with precursors for mitochondria, plastids and microbodies. Changes in ultrastructure take place during development and light has a negative effect on the extent of cellular differentiation. Myrosin cells are generally found distributed in differentiated tissue, from the imbibition stage up to 192 h after germination. The relative area occupied by the myrosin cells has been calculated by morphometrical analyses and correlated to the cultivation period, plant organ and light conditions. Attempts have also been made to isolate myrosin cells as protoplasts and separate these from the normal root cell protoplasts. Myrosinase activity has been determined in comparable studies of the intact tissue and protoplasts isolated from the same. Activity decreased throughout the development of the plant but even at flowering myrosinase activity was still detected. The specific activity of the protoplasts was less than that of the intact root tissue but also here a decrease in activity was found with time after isolation. The specific activities of the enzymes have been correlated to the number and distribution of myrosin cells and the relevance of the term myrosin cell is discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Botany, AVH, University of Trondheim


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