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Plants 2014, 3(3), 442-457;

Live Cell Imaging During Germination Reveals Dynamic Tubular Structures Derived from Protein Storage Vacuoles of Barley Aleurone Cells

Department for Applied Genetics and Cell Biology, Molecular Plant Physiology and Crop Biotechnology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Muthgasse 18, Vienna 1190, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 July 2014 / Revised: 20 August 2014 / Accepted: 21 August 2014 / Published: 5 September 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Vacuole)
PDF [1609 KB, uploaded 5 September 2014]


The germination of cereal seeds is a rapid developmental process in which the endomembrane system undergoes a series of dynamic morphological changes to mobilize storage compounds. The changing ultrastructure of protein storage vacuoles (PSVs) in the cells of the aleurone layer has been investigated in the past, but generally this involved inferences drawn from static pictures representing different developmental stages. We used live cell imaging in transgenic barley plants expressing a TIP3-GFP fusion protein as a fluorescent PSV marker to follow in real time the spatially and temporally regulated remodeling and reshaping of PSVs during germination. During late-stage germination, we observed thin, tubular structures extending from PSVs in an actin-dependent manner. No extensions were detected following the disruption of actin microfilaments, while microtubules did not appear to be involved in the process. The previously-undetected tubular PSV structures were characterized by complex movements, fusion events and a dynamic morphology. Their function during germination remains unknown, but might be related to the transport of solutes and metabolites. View Full-Text
Keywords: barley; aleurone; endosperm; PSV; germination barley; aleurone; endosperm; PSV; germination

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Ibl, V.; Stoger, E. Live Cell Imaging During Germination Reveals Dynamic Tubular Structures Derived from Protein Storage Vacuoles of Barley Aleurone Cells. Plants 2014, 3, 442-457.

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