Distribution of wheat germ agglutinin in young wheat plants.
Plant Physiol. 1980 Nov;66(5):950-955. PMID: 16661559
Department of Botany, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602.
A liquid phase, competition-binding radioimmunoassay for wheat germ agglutinin, with a detection limit of 10 nanograms, was developed in order to determine the distribution of this lectin in young wheat plants. Affinity columns for wheat germ agglutinin removed all antigenically detectable activity from crude extracts of wheat tissue; thus, the antigenic cross-reactivity detected by the assay possesses sugar-binding specificity similar to the wheat germ-derived lectin. The amount of lectin per dry grain is approximately 1 microgram, all associated with the embryo. At 34 days of growth, the level of lectin per plant was reduced by about 50%, with approximately one-third in the roots and two-thirds in the shoot. The data also indicate that actively growing regions of the plant (the bases of the leaves and rapidly growing adventitious roots) contain the highest levels of lectin. Half of the lectin associated with the roots could be solubilized by washing intact roots in buffer containing oligomers of N-acetylglucosamine, whereas the remainder is liberated only upon homogenization of the tissue.