Vacuole fluorescence in onion stomata


Blue light-induced, intrinsic vacuole fluorescence in onion guard cells.

by Zeiger E., Hepler P. K. (1979)

Eduardo Zeiger

P. K. Hepler

in  J. Cell Sci. 37, 1–10 –

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Guard cells of onion irradiated with broad-band blue light display a green intrinsic fluorescence. The fluorescence has been found in eleven species of Allium, but it has not been observed in any other monocot or dicot examined.

The fluorescence occurs only in guard cells and is absent in neighbouring epidermal cells.

During development it is first apparent in guard mother cells soon after the asymmetric division. Microscopic observation reveals that the fluorescence is associated with the vacuole and examination of vacuoles isolated from guard cell protoplasts suggests that it may be localized on the tonoplast.

Microspectrophotometric analysis of single cells reveals an emission peak at around 520 nm.

Our results are consistent with the view that this blue light receptor is a flavin or flavoprotein and that it might be related to the blue light-enhanced stomatal opening observed in onion.


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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