Immunocytochemical localization of phaseolin and phytohemagglutinin in the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex of developing bean cotyledons

Planta. 1985 Jun;164(3):295-302. doi: 10.1007/BF00402940.


Development of legume seeds is accompanied by the synthesis of storage proteins and lectins, and the deposition of these proteins in protein-storage vacuoles (protein bodies). We examined the subcellular distribution, in developing seeds of the common bean, Phaseolus vulgaris L., of the major storage protein (phaseolin) and the major lectin (phytohemagglutinin, PHA). The proteins were localized using an indirect immunocytochemical method in which ultrathin frozen sections were immunolabeled with rabbit antibodies specific for either PHA or phaseolin. Bound antibodies were then localized using goat-anti-rabbit immunoglobulin G adsorbed onto 4- to 5-nm colloidal gold particles. The sections were post-fixed with OsO4, dehydrated, and embedded in plastic on the grids. Both PHA and phaseolin exhibited a similar distribution in the storage-parenchyma cells, being found primarily in the developing protein bodies. Endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complexes (cisternal stacks and associated vesicles) also were specifically labeled for both proteins, whereas the cytosol and other organelles, such as mitochondria, were not. We interpret these observations as supporting the hypothesis that the transport of storage proteins and lectins from their site of synthesis, the rough endoplasmic reticulum, to their site of deposition, the protein bodies, is mediated by the Golgi complex.