Localization of Ca++-containing antimonate precipitates during mitosis

Susan M. Wick, Peter K. Hepler

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Intracellular bound Ca++ has been localized throughout mitosis and cytokinesis in two plant species by means of in situ precipitation with potassium antimonate and electron microscope visualization. Identification of Ca++ as the major cation precipitated was made by comparing solubility properties in water, EDTA, and EGTA of the intracellular deposits with respect to those of K+-, and Ca++-antimonate standards. In spermatogenous cells of the water fern, Marsilea vestita, and stomatal complex cells of barley, Hordeum vulgare, antimonate deposits have been found associated with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), vacuoles, euchromatin/nucleoplasm, and mitochondria. The last contain a much higher density of precipitates in Marsilea than in Hordeum. Dictyosomes and the nuclear envelope of Marsilea also contain antimonate deposits, as do the plasmalemma, cell wall, and phragmoplast vesicles of Hordeum. Microtubule-organizing centers such as kinetochores and the blepharoplast of Marsilea do not stain. In spite of differences in associated antimonate between certain organelles of the two species, the presence of antimonate along the ER throughout the cell cycle is common to both. Of particular interest are those precipitates seen along the tubules and cisternae of the extensive smooth ER that surrounds and invades the mitotic spindle in both species. The ability to bind divalent cations makes the mitotic apparatus (MA)-associated ER a likely candidate for regulation of free Ca++ levels in the immediate vicinity of structural components and processes that are Ca++-sensitive and proposed to be Ca++-regulated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)500-513
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 1980


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