Author(s): Turner GW, Gershenzon J, Croteau RB
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Abstract Cryofixation and conventional chemical fixation methods were employed to examine the ultrastructure of developing peltate glandular trichomes of peppermint (Mentha x piperita). Our results are discussed in relation to monoterpene production and the mechanism of essential oil secretion. Peltate glands arise as epidermal protuberances (initials) that divide asymmetrically to produce a vacuolate basal cell, a stalk cell, and a cytoplasmically dense apical cell. Further divisions of the apical cell produce a peltate trichome with one basal cell, one stalk cell, and eight glandular (secretory) disc cells. Presecretory gland cells resemble meristematic cells because they contain proplastids, small vacuoles, and large nuclei. The secretory phase coincides with the separation and filling of the sub-cuticular oil storage space, the maturation of glandular disc cell leucoplasts in which monoterpene biosynthesis is known to be initiated, and the formation of extensive smooth endoplasmic reticulum at which hydroxylation steps of the monoterpene biosynthetic pathway occur. The smooth endoplasmic reticulum of the secretory cells appears to form associations with both the leucoplasts and the plasma membrane bordering the sub-cuticular oil storage cavity, often contains densely staining material, and may be involved with the transport of the monoterpene-rich secretion product. Associated changes in the ultrastructure of the secretory stage stalk cell are also described, as is the ultrastructure of the fragile post-secretory gland for which cryofixation methods are particularly well suited for the preservation of organizational integrity.
This article was published in Plant Physiol
and referenced in Natural Products Chemistry & Research