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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2017

Two Complementary Mechanisms Underpin Cell Wall Patterning during Xylem Vessel Development

Schneider, Rene; Tang, Lu; Lampugnani, Edwin R.; Barkwill, Sarah; Lathe, Rahul; Zhang, Yi; McFarlane, Heather E.; Pesquet, Edouard; Niittyla, Totte; Mansfield, Shawn D.; Zhou, Yihua; Persson, Staffan


The evolution of the plant vasculature was essential for the emergence of terrestrial life. Xylem vessels are solute-transporting elements in the vasculature that possess secondary wall thickenings deposited in intricate patterns. Evenly dispersed microtubule (MT) bands support the formation of these wall thickenings, but how the MTs direct cell wall synthesis during this process remains largely unknown. Cellulose is the major secondary wall constituent and is synthesized by plasma membrane-localized cellulose synthases (CesAs) whose catalytic activity propels them through the membrane. We show that the protein CELLULOSE SYNTHASE INTERACTING1 (CSI1)/POM2 is necessary to align the secondary wall CesAs and MTs during the initial phase of xylem vessel development in Arabidopsis thaliana and rice (Oryza sativa). Surprisingly, these MT-driven patterns successively become imprinted and sufficient to sustain the continued progression of wall thickening in the absence of MTs and CSI1/POM2 function. Hence, two complementary principles underpin wall patterning during xylem vessel development.

Published in

Plant Cell
2017, Volume: 29, number: 10, pages: 2433-2449