Schroder WP, Petit PX
Flow-Cytometry of Spinach-Chloroplasts - Determination of Intactness and Lectin-Binding Properties of the Envelope and the Thylakoid Membranes
Plant Physiology: 1992 100:1092-1102
Intact spinach (Spinacia oleracea) chloroplasts, thylakoid membranes, and inside-out or right-side-out thylakoid vesicles have been characterized by flow cytometry with respect to forward angle light scatter, right angle light scatter, and chlorophyll fluorescence. Analysis of intact chloroplasts with respect to forward light scatter and the chlorophyll fluorescence parameter revealed the presence of truly "intact" and "disrupted" chloroplasts. The forward light scatter parameter, normally considered to reflect object size, was instead found to reflect the particle density. One essential advantage of flow cytometry is that additional parameters such as Ricinus communis agglutinin (linked to fluorescein isothiocyanate) fluorescence can be determined through logical conditions placed on bit-maps, amounting to an analytical purification procedure. In the present case, chloroplast subpopulations with fully preserved envelopes, thylakoid membrane, and inside-out or right-side-out thylakoid membranes vesicles can be distinguished. Flow cytometry is also a useful tool to address the question of availability of glycosyl moities on the membrane surfaces if one keeps in mind that organelle-to-organelle interactions could be partially mediated through a recognition process. A high specific binding of R. communis agglutinin and peanut lectin to the chloroplast envelope was detected. This showed that galactose residues were exposed and accessible to specific lectins on the chloroplast surface. No exposed glucose, fucose, or mannose residues could be detected by the appropriate lectins. Ricin binding to the intact chloroplasts caused a strong aggregation. Disruption of these aggregates by resuspension or during passage in the flow cytometer induced partial breakage of the chloroplasts. Only minor binding of R. communis agglutinin and peanut lectin to the purified thylakoid membranes was detected, the binding was found to be low for both inside-out and right-side-out vesicles of the thylakoid membranes.
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