Determination of the Pore Size of Cell Walls of Living Plant Cells

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Science  14 Sep 1979:
Vol. 205, Issue 4411, pp. 1144-1147
DOI: 10.1126/science.205.4411.1144


The limiting diameter of pores in the walls of living plant cells through which molecules can freely pass has been determined by a solute exclusion technique to be 35 to 38 angstroms for hair cells of Raphanus sativus roots and fibers of Gossypium hirsutum, 38 to 40 angstroms for cultured cells of Acer pseudoplatanus, and 45 to 52 angstroms for isolated palisade parenchyma cells of the leaves of Xanthium strumarium and Commelina communis. These results indicate that molecules with diameters larger than these pores would be restricted in their ability to penetrate such a cell wall, and that such a wall may represent a more significant barrier to cellular communication than has been previously assumed.

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