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Ultrastructural alterations in cells of hardened and nonhardened winter rye during hyper osmotic and extracellular freezing stresses


, : Ultrastructural alterations in cells of hardened and nonhardened winter rye during hyper osmotic and extracellular freezing stresses. Protoplasma 98(4): 329-342

Epicotyl tissues of cold-hardened and non-hardened winter rye (Secale cereale L. cv. Puma) were subjected to extracellular freezing (-10.degree. C) and hyperosmotic stresses (1-4 M salt solutions) and were fixed such that the cellular plasmolytic and freezing patterns were retained to allow for examination of ultrastructural alterations during stress. Loss of integrity of the plasmalemma and the appearance of osmiophilic regions on the protoplasmic surface were observed and could be correlated with lethal cellular injury due to hyperosmotic and extracellular freezing stresses. Complete loss of ultrastructure of organelles such as etioplasts and mitochondria also occurred, but only at levels of hyperosmotic stress higher than that required to kill the cells. The formation of osmiophilic granules during hyperosmotic stress was irreversible since on deplasmolysis they were observed to outline the protoplasm at the point where it burst. Occasionally membranous connections between such osmiophilic granules could be observed after deplasmolysis. Similar osmiophilic granules were also observed on the outer membrane of some mitochondria. In the frozen-fixed cells, ultrastructural examination showed that the cell wall collapsed with the protoplast, indicating that the freeze pattern was retained by fixation. Osmiophilic regions on the protoplasmic surface and disruptions of the plasmalemma were also observed. Primary freezing injury to the cell occurs during the freezing process. Although the stresses between plasmolysis and freezing may be different in some respects, some of the ultrastructural manifestations of injury in both cases are similar.

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