Imaging the cytoplasmic domain of the rosette cellulose-synthesizing terminal complex
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A new technique for imaging terminal cellulose-synthesizing complexes in isolated plasma membrane sheets was developed. Protoplasts bound to poly-L-lysine-coated substrates were burst in a sonicator bath. This process served to partially extract the plasma membrane, allowing the imaging of cellulose microfibrils through holes in the plasma membrane and the tracing of these cellulose microfibrils back to rosette terminal complexes. Using this new technique, the cytoplasmic domain of the rosette terminal complex was imaged. This domain appears to be hexagonal. A new model of the complete rosette cellulose-synthesizing terminal complex includes the hexagonal geometry of the cytoplasmic domain. This new technique effectively augments freeze fracture data in providing new data about the structure-function of the cellulose synthesizing terminal complex.