Aluminum-induced 1→3-β-D-glucan inhibits cell-to-cell trafficking of molecules through plasmodesmata. A new mechanism of aluminum toxicity in plants

M. Sivaguru, T. Fujiwara, J. Samaj, F. Baluska, Z. Yang, H. Osawa, T. Maeda, T. Mori, D. Volkmann, H. Matsumoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Symplastic intercellular transport in plants is achieved by plasmodesmata (PD). These cytoplasmic channels are well known to interconnect plant cells to facilitate intercellular movement of water, nutrients, and signaling molecules including hormones. However, it is not known whether Al may affect this cell-to-cell transport process, which is a critical feature for roots as organs of nutrient/water uptake. We have microinjected the dye lucifer yellow carbohydrazide into peripheral root cells of an Al-sensitive wheat (Triticum aestivum cv Scout 66) either before or after Al treatment and followed the cell-to-cell dye-coupling through PD. Here we show that the Al-induced root growth inhibition is closely associated with the Al-induced blockage of cell-to-cell dye coupling. Immunofluorescence combined with immuno-electron microscopic techniques using monoclonal antibodies against 1→3-β-D-glucan (callose) revealed circumstantial evidence that Al-induced callose deposition at PD may responsible for this blockage of symplastic transport. Use of 2-deoxy-D-glucose, a callose synthesis inhibitor, allowed us to demonstrate that a reduction in callose particles correlated well with the improved dye-coupling and reduced root growth inhibition. While assessing the tissue specificity of this Al effect, comparable responses were obtained from the dye-coupling pattern in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) mesophyll cells. Analyses of the Al-induced expression of PD-associated proteins, such as calreticulin and unconventional myosin VIII, showed enhanced fluorescence and co-localizations with callose deposits. These results suggest that Al-signal mediated localized alterations to calcium homeostasis may drive callose formation and PD closure. Our data demonstrate that extracellular Al-induced callose deposition at PD could effectively block symplastic transport and communication in higher plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)991-1005
Number of pages15
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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