Journal of electron microscopy

Cell wall formation in regenerating protoplasts of Schizosaccharomyces pombe: study by high resolution, low voltage scanning electron microscopy.

PMID 2516868


The ultrastructure of regenerating cell wall in Schizosaccharomyces pombe protoplasts was studied with a high resolution, low voltage scanning electron microscope (LVSEM). In contrast to the transmission electron microscopy, the LVSEM images give three-dimensional information on the cell wall regeneration in yeast protoplasts. We found that, after only a few minutes of incubation, the protoplasts began to show protuberances in a unipolar manner, and a fibrilar network was formed asymmetrically which covered the whole surface of the protoplasts after 5 hr. The network consisted of microfibrils about 8 to 10 nm wide, forming flat and wavy bundles of various widths and lengths, up to about 200 nm wide and 1 micron long, mainly made of yeast glucan. Free ends of microfibrils were seldom found. Interfibrillar spaces were progressively filled with granular particles and finally the complete cell wall was formed after 12 hr. The fibrillar network was destroyed by the digestion with beta (1----3)-glucanase. When protoplasts were regenerating in the presence of aculeacin A, the fibrillar networks were not formed, resulting in incomplete cell wall formation. These observations suggest that beta-glucan is the main component of the microfibrils and that it plays an important role in the formation of the cell wall in S. pombe.

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Aculeacin A, from Aspergillus aculeatus, ≥95% (HPLC)