Temporal and spatial appearance of wall polysaccharides during cellularization of barley (Hordeum vulgare) endosperm

Planta. 2006 Aug;224(3):655-67. doi: 10.1007/s00425-006-0244-x. Epub 2006 Mar 11.


Barley endosperm begins development as a syncytium where numerous nuclei line the perimeter of a large vacuolated central cell. Between 3 and 6 days after pollination (DAP) the multinucleate syncytium is cellularized by the centripetal synthesis of cell walls at the interfaces of nuclear cytoplasmic domains between individual nuclei. Here we report the temporal and spatial appearance of key polysaccharides in the cell walls of early developing endosperm of barley, prior to aleurone differentiation. Flowering spikes of barley plants grown under controlled glasshouse conditions were hand-pollinated and the developing grains collected from 3 to 8 DAP. Barley endosperm development was followed at the light and electron microscope levels with monoclonal antibodies specific for (1-->3)-beta-D: -glucan (callose), (1-->3,1-->4)-beta-D: -glucan, hetero-(1-->4)-beta-D: -mannans, arabino-(1-->4)-beta-D: -xylans, arabinogalactan-proteins (AGPs) and with the enzyme, cellobiohydrolase II, to detect (1-->4)-beta-D: -glucan (cellulose). Callose and cellulose were present in the first formed cell walls between 3 and 4 DAP. However, the presence of callose in the endosperm walls was transient and at 6 DAP was only detected in collars surrounding plasmodesmata. (1-->3,1-->4)-beta-D: -Glucan was not deposited in the developing cell walls until approximately 5 DAP and hetero-(1-->4)-beta-D: -mannans followed at 6 DAP. Deposition of AGPs and arabinoxylan in the wall began at 7 and 8 DAP, respectively. For arabinoxylans, there is a possibility that they are deposited earlier in a highly substituted form that is inaccessible to the antibody. Arabinoxylan and heteromannan were also detected in Golgi and associated vesicles in the cytoplasm. In contrast, (1-->3,1-->4)-beta-D: -glucan was not detected in the cytoplasm in endosperm cells; similar results were obtained for coleoptile and suspension cultured cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Wall / metabolism
  • Cell Wall / ultrastructure
  • Cellulose / metabolism
  • Galactans / metabolism
  • Glucans / metabolism
  • Hordeum / cytology
  • Hordeum / embryology
  • Hordeum / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mannans / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism*
  • Seeds / cytology
  • Seeds / growth & development
  • Seeds / metabolism*
  • Xylans / metabolism
  • beta-Glucans / metabolism


  • Galactans
  • Glucans
  • Mannans
  • Polysaccharides
  • Xylans
  • beta-Glucans
  • Cellulose
  • callose
  • arabinogalactan