Fine structure of plasmodesmata in mature leaves of sugarcane

Planta. 1991 Jun;184(3):307-18. doi: 10.1007/BF00195331.


The fine structure of plasmodesmata in vascular bundles and contiguous tissues of mature leaf blades of sugarcane (Saccharum interspecific hybrid L62-96) was studied with the transmission electron microscope. Tissues were fixed in glutaraldehyde, with and without the addition of tannic acid, and postfixed in OsO4. The results indicate that the fine structure of plasmodesmata in sugarcane differs among various cell combinations in a cell-specific manner, but that three basic structural variations can be recognized among plasmodesmata in the mature leaf: 1) Plasmodesmata between mesophyll cells. These plasmodesmata possess amorphous, electron-opaque structures, termed sphincters, that extend from plasma membrane to desmotubule near the orifices of the plasmodesmata. The cytoplasmic sleeve is filled by the sphincters where they occur; elsewhere it is open and entirely free of particulate or spokelike components. The desmotubule is tightly constricted and has no lumen within the sphincters, but between the sphincters it is a convoluted tubule with an open lumen. 2) Plasmodesmata that traverse the walls of chlorenchymatous bundle-sheath cells and mestome-sheath cells. In addition to the presence of sphincters, these plasmodesmata are modified by the presence of suberin lamellae in the walls. Although the plasmodesmata are quite narrow and the lumens of the desmotubules are constricted where they traverse the suberin lamellae, the cytoplasmic sleeves are still discernible and appear to contain substructural components there. 3) Plasmodesmata between parenchymatous cells of the vascular bundles. These plasmodesmata strongly resemble those found in the roots of Azolla, in that their desmotubules are closed for their entire length and their cytoplasmic sleeves appear to contain substructural components for their entire length. The structural variations exhibited by the plasmodesmata of the sugarcane leaf are compared with those proposed for a widely-adopted model of plasmodesmatal structure.