SUMMARY: Incorporation of polysaccharides into the walls of regenerating protoplasts of was followed in the presence of papulacandin B, tunicamycin and nikkomycin. With the first drug, chitin was incorporated normally whereas incorporation of glucans and mannoproteins was significantly decreased. Tunicamycin decreased incorporation of all wall polymers when added at the beginning of the regeneration process but blocked only mannan and alkali-insoluble glucan incorporation when added after 5 h. Nikkomycin inhibited chitin synthesis, and the walls formed by the protoplasts were enriched in alkali-soluble glucan. Pulse-chase experiments suggested that a precursor-product relationship between the alkali-soluble and alkali-insoluble glucans existed in the wall. The results obtained with the antibiotics were confirmed and extended by cytological studies using wheat-germ agglutinin labelled with colloidal gold and concanavalin A-ferritin as specific markers of chitin and mannoproteins respectively. The results support the idea that regeneration of walls by protoplasts occurs in two steps: firstly, a chitin microfibrillar skeleton is formed, and in a later step glucan-mannoprotein complexes are added to the growing structure. The chitin skeleton probably allows the orderly spatial arrangement of the other polymers giving rise to the regenerated cell wall.


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