Glucosinolate-accumulating S-cells in Arabidopsis leaves and flower stalks undergo programmed cell death at early stages of differentiation
Koroleva, O. A., Gibson, T. M., Cramer, R. and Stain, C. (2010) Glucosinolate-accumulating S-cells in Arabidopsis leaves and flower stalks undergo programmed cell death at early stages of differentiation. The Plant Journal, 64 (3). pp. 456-469. ISSN 0960-7412
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2010.04339.x
Plant secondary metabolites glucosinolates (GSL) have important functions in plant resistance to herbivores and pathogens. We identified all major GSL that are accumulated in S-cells in Arabidopsis by MALDI-TOF MS, and estimated by LC-MS that the total GSL concentration in these cells is above 130 mM. The precise locations of the S-cells outside phloem bundles in rosette and cauline leaves and in flower stalks were visualised using sulphur mapping by cryo-SEM/EDX. S-cells contain up to 40% of total sulphur in flower stalk tissues. S-cells in emerging flower stalks and developing leaf tissues show typical signs of Programmed Cell Death (PCD) or apoptosis, such as chromatin condensation in the nucleus and blebbing of the membranes. TUNEL staining for DNA double strand breaks confirmed PCD in S-cells in postmeristematic tissues in the flower stalk as well as in the leaf. Our results show that S-cells in postmeristematic tissues proceed to an extreme degree of metabolic specialisation besides PCD. Accumulation and maintenance of a high concentration of GSL in these cells are accompanied by degradation of a number of cell organelles. The substantial changes in the cell composition during S-cell differentiation indicate the importance of this particular GSL-based phloem defence system. The specific anatomy of the S-cells and ability to accumulate specialised secondary metabolites is similar to that of the non-articulated laticifer cells in latex plants and thus indicates a common evolutionary origin.