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Extensor and Flexor Protoplasts from Samanea Pulvini 1: I. Isolation and Initial Characterization

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Protoplasts were isolated from extensor and flexor regions of open pulvini of the nyctinastic tree Samanea saman. Both types of protoplasts undergo many changes during isolation. Extensor protoplasts are univacuolate in vivo, but some become multivacuolate. All flexor protoplasts are univacuolate. In an open pulvinus, extensor cells have a higher osmotic pressure than flexor cells. However, both types of protoplasts can be isolated with optimal yield using the same osmoticum (0.5 molar sorbitol) in the digestion medium. This suggests that some leakage of osmoticum occurs during harvest or digestion, especially from extensor tissue. Despite these changes, both types of protoplasts extrude protons in response to 10 micromolar fusicoccin (1.6-1.8 nanoequivalent/106 protoplasts/minute), demonstrating that the protoplasts are metabolically active and that proton transport mechanisms must be at least partially functional. The changes in vacuolar structure and osmotic pressure are what one might expect if the protoplasts, which are isolated from open pulvini, take on characteristics of cells in a closed pulvinus.


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