We used immunocytochemistry to investigate the effects of gravistimulation on annexin localization in etiolated pea plumule shoots. In longitudinal sections, an asymmetric annexin immunostaining pattern was observed in a defined group of cells located just basipetal to apical meristems at the main shoot apex and at all of the axillary buds, an area classically referred to as the leaf gap. The pattern was observed using both protein-A-purified anti-annexin and affinity-purified anti-annexin antibodies for the immunostaining. A subset of the cells with the annexin staining also showed an unusually high level of periodic acid Schiff (PAS) staining in their cell walls. Prior to gravistimulation, the highest concentration of annexin was oriented toward the direction of gravity along the apical end of these immunostained cells. In contrast, both at 15 and 30 min after gravistimulation, the annexin immunostain became more evenly distributed all around the cell and more distinctly cell peripheral. The asymmetry along the lower wall of these cells was no longer evident. In accord with current models of annexin action, we interpret the results to indicate that annexin-mediated secretion in the leaf gap area is preferentially toward the apical meristem prior to gravistimulation, and that gravistimulation results in a redirection of this secretion. These data are to our knowledge the first to show a correlation between the vector of gravity and the distribution of annexins in the cells of flowering plants.
c 2000 Editions scientifiques et medicales Elsevier SAS.