Identification and characterization of latex-specific proteins in opium poppy. Academic Article uri icon


  • Latex from the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum L., was analyzed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE). Two latex-specific bands were identified in protein samples of poppy latex using one-dimensional native PAGE. Second dimension analysis with SDS-PAGE indicates that these proteins have a relative molecular weight of approximately 20 kilodaltons. We have termed these polypeptides the major latex proteins (MLPs). Polyclonal antibodies prepared against the MLPs were used to probe protein gel blots of latex and poppy tissues known to lack laticifers. Laticifer-free tissues showed no reaction with anti-MLP immunoglobulin G indicating that MLPs are found only in poppy latex. MLP distribution was also examined in mature opium poppy tissues by immunocytochemistry. Laticifers were differentially labeled by fluorescein isothiocyanate secondary labeling of anti-MLP immunoglobulin G and could easily be identified in both transverse and longitudinal section. Fractionation studies of isolated latex showed that MLPs are concentrated in the latex cytosol and not in alkaloidal vesicles. Analysis of latex proteins by conventional two-dimensional electrophoresis indicates that the two MLP bands are composed of several distinct polypeptides with similar relative molecular weights. The pIs of these molecules range from 6.0 to 3.5. The role(s) of MLPs in laticifer metabolism has not been determined.

published proceedings

  • Plant Physiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Nessler, C. L., Allen, R. D., & Galewsky, S.

citation count

  • 54

complete list of authors

  • Nessler, CL||Allen, RD||Galewsky, S

publication date

  • October 1985