Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary In order to elucidate the events that lead to cellular autolysis, and thus better understand the mechanism of cellular incompatibility betweenSedum telephoides andSolanum pennellii stems, we have followed the appearance and fate of the hydrolytic enzyme acid phosphatase in both the compatibleSedum autograft and the incompatibleSedum/Solanum heterograft. Acid phosphatase was localized by a modified Gomori-type reaction. Following an initial association with the endoplasmic reticulum and dictyosomes by 6–10 hours after grafting, acid phosphatase activity in the compatibleSedum autograft was associated primarily with the plasmalemma, tonoplast, and vacuole. This strict compartmentation in membranes or organelles and absence of enzyme from the cytosol was maintained throughout the development of the compatible autograft inSedum. Although acid phosphatase activity in the incompatible heterograft betweenSedum andSolanum was initially similar to the compatible autograft inSedum, a marked difference in enzyme localization occurred in the two graft partners over time.Solanum cells accumulated increased amounts of acid phosphatase, but the enzyme remained sequestered in the plasmalemma, tonoplast, and vacuole. In comparableSedum cells, however, there was a dramatic increase in acid phosphatase activity in the cytosol, often without any prior compartmentation within the vacuole. This high activity of acid phosphatase in theSedum cytosol was correlated with cellular autolysis, death, and eventual cell collapse to form the characteristic necrotic layer that insulates the stock from the scion. These results suggest that the lethal cellular senescence associated withSedum cells of the incompatible heterograft is correlated with a cytoplasmic release of acid phosphatase. A similar release of the enzyme does not occur in theSolanum stock or in the compatibleSedum autograft. Thus, while acid phosphatase synthesis and/or activation is induced in both the compatible and incompatible grafts, incompatibility betweenSedum andSolanum involves a failure ofSedum cells to isolate hydrolytic enzymes from the cytosol, which subsequently leads to cellular necrosis.
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