143. Mizuta, S. and R. M. Brown, Jr. 1992. High resolution analysis of the formation of cellulose synthesizing complexes in Vaucheria hamata. Protoplasma 166: 187-199.

143. Summary

Ultrastructure and assembly of cellulose terminal synthesizing complexes (terminal complexes, TCs) in the alga Vaucheria hamata (Waltz) were investigated by high resolution analytical techniques for freeze-fracture replication. Vaucheria TCs consist of many diagonal rows of subunits located on the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane. Each row contains about 10-18 subunits. The subunits themselves are rectangular, approx. 7 x 3.5 nm, and each has a single elliptical hole which may be the site of a single glucan chain polymerization. The subunits are connected with extremely small filaments (0.3-0.5 nm). Connections are more extensive in a direction parallel to the subunit rows and less extensive perpendicular to them. Nascent TC subunits are found to be packed within globules (15-20 nm in diameter) which are larger than typical intramembranous particles (IMPS are 10-llnm in diameter) distributed in the plasma membrane. The subunits in the globule, which may be a zymogenic precursor of the TC, are generally exhibited in the form of doublets. Approximately 6 doublets are connected to a center core with small filaments. The globules are inserted into the plasma membrane together with IMPS by the fusion of cytoplasmic (Golgi derived) vesicles. Two or three globules attach to each other, unfold, and expand to form the first subunit rows of the TC on the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane. More globules attach to the structure and unfold until the nascent TC consists of a few rows of subunits. These rows are arranged almost parallel to each other. Two formation centers of subunits appear at both ends of an elongating TC. New subunits carried by the globules are added at each of these centers to create new rows until the elongating TC structure is completed. On the basis of this study, a model of TC assembly and early initiation of microfibril formation in Vaucheria is proposed.

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Last modified 27 October 2005.
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