Ultrastructural Immunolocalization of Arabinogalactan Protein, Pectin and Hemicellulose Epitopes Through Anther Development in Brassica napus

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In this work, we performed an extensive and detailed analysis of the changes in cell wall composition during Brassica napus anther development. We used immunogold labeling to study the spatial and temporal patterns of the composition and distribution of different arabinogalactan protein (AGP), pectin, xyloglucan and xylan epitopes in high-pressure-frozen/freeze-substituted anthers, quantifying and comparing their relative levels in the different anther tissues and developmental stages. We used the following monoclonal antibodies: JIM13, JIM8, JIM14 and JIM16 for AGPs, LM5, LM6, JIM7, JIM5 and LM7 for pectins, CCRC-M1, CCRC-M89 and LM15 for xyloglucan, and LM11 for xylan. Each cell wall epitope showed a characteristic temporal and spatial labeling pattern. Microspore, pollen and tapetal cells showed similar patterns for each epitope, whereas the outermost anther layers (epidermis, endothecium and middle layers) presented remarkably different patterns. Our results suggested that AGPs, pectins, xyloglucan and xylan have specific roles during anther development. The AGP epitopes studied appeared to belong to AGPs specifically involved in microspore differentiation, and contributed first by the tapetum and then, upon tapetal dismantling, by the endothecium and middle layers. In contrast, the changes in pectin and hemicellulose epitopes suggested a specific role in anther dehiscence, facilitating anther wall weakening and rupture. The distribution of the different cell wall constituents is regulated in a tissue- and stage-specific manner, which seems directly related to the role of each tissue at each stage.

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