The tannosome is an organelle forming condensed tannins in the chlorophyllous organs of Tracheophyta

Jean Marc Brillouet, Charles Romieu, Benoît Schoefs, Katalin Solymosi, Véronique Cheynier, Hélène Fulcrand, Jean Luc Verdeil, Geneviève Conéjéro

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Abstract

Background and AimsCondensed tannins (also called proanthocyanidins) are widespread polymers of catechins and are essential for the defence mechanisms of vascular plants (Tracheophyta). A large body of evidence argues for the synthesis of monomeric epicatechin on the cytosolic face of the endoplasmic reticulum and its transport to the vacuole, although the site of its polymerization into tannins remains to be elucidated. The aim of the study was to re-examine the cellular frame of tannin polymerization in various representatives of the Tracheophyta.MethodsLight microscopy epifluorescence, confocal microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), chemical analysis of tannins following cell fractionation, and immunocytochemistry were used as independent methods on tannin-rich samples from various organs from Cycadophyta, Ginkgophyta, Equisetophyta, Pteridophyta, Coniferophyta and Magnoliophyta. Tissues were fixed in a caffeine-glutaraldehyde mixture and examined by TEM. Other fresh samples were incubated with primary antibodies against proteins from both chloroplastic envelopes and a thylakoidal chlorophyll-carrying protein; they were also incubated with gelatin-Oregon Green, a fluorescent marker of condensed tannins. Coupled spectral analyses of chlorophyll and tannins were carried out by confocal microscopy on fresh tissues and tannin-rich accretions obtained through cell fractionation; chemical analyses of tannins and chlorophylls were also performed on the accretions.Key Results and ConclusionsThe presence of the three different chloroplast membranes inside vacuolar accretions that constitute the typical form of tannin storage in vascular plants was established in fresh tissues as well as in purified organelles, using several independent methods. Tannins are polymerized in a new chloroplast-derived organelle, the tannosome. These are formed by pearling of the thylakoids into 30 nm spheres, which are then encapsulated in a tannosome shuttle formed by budding from the chloroplast and bound by a membrane resulting from the fusion of both chloroplast envelopes. The shuttle conveys numerous tannosomes through the cytoplasm towards the vacuole in which it is then incorporated by invagination of the tonoplast. Finally, shuttles bound by a portion of tonoplast aggregate into tannin accretions which are stored in the vacuole. Polymerization of tannins occurs inside the tannosome regardless of the compartment being crossed. A complete sequence of events apparently valid in all studied Tracheophyta is described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1003-1014
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Botany
Volume112
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2013

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Keywords

  • Tannosome
  • Tracheophyta
  • chloroplast
  • condensed tannins
  • organelle
  • polymerization
  • proanthocyanidins
  • tonoplast
  • vacuole
  • vascular plants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science

Cite this

Brillouet, J. M., Romieu, C., Schoefs, B., Solymosi, K., Cheynier, V., Fulcrand, H., Verdeil, J. L., & Conéjéro, G. (2013). The tannosome is an organelle forming condensed tannins in the chlorophyllous organs of Tracheophyta. Annals of Botany, 112(6), 1003-1014. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mct168