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American Society of Plant Biologists
Analysis of structural changes in barley aleurone cells during germination or following incubation of isolated layers in gibberellic acid with or without actinomycin D revealed extensive development of rough endoplasmic reticulum. Following the assembly of stacked rough endoplasmic reticulum, vesiculation occurred mainly in basal regions of the cell, resulting in a polar distribution of rough endoplasmic reticulum vesicles. It is postulated that these vesicles are involved in protein secretion, because smooth vesicles, derived from the rough endoplasmic reticulum, apparently become appressed to the plasma membrane. The increased α-amylase in the ambient medium and in cell homogenates correlated directly with formation and subsequent vesiculation of the rough endoplasmic reticulum. Furthermore, when cells were treated with actinomycin D and gibberellic acid, α-amylase synthesis was inhibited by 45% and secretion by 63%. These cells were characterized cytologically by large areas of disarrayed segments of fragmented rough endoplasmic reticulum, corresponding to a high intracellular level of α-amylase. In addition, small lipid bodies common to the segmented regions of rough endoplasmic reticulum were surrounded by fine fibrous material, short segments of rough endoplasmic reticulum, and free ribosomes, suggesting that actinomycin D had interfered with development and organization of rough endoplasmic reticulum.