Publications by authors named "Candace H Haigler"

40 Publications

Microtubules exert early, partial, and variable control of cotton fiber diameter.

Planta 2021 Jan 23;253(2):47. Epub 2021 Jan 23.

Department of Crop and Soil Sciences and Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, 27695, USA.

Main Conclusion: Variable cotton fiber diameter is set early in anisotropic elongation by cell-type-specific processes involving the temporal and spatial regulation of microtubules in the apical region. Cotton fibers are single cells that originate from the seed epidermis of Gossypium species. Then, they undergo extreme anisotropic elongation and limited diametric expansion. The details of cellular morphogenesis determine the quality traits that affect fiber uses and value, such as length, strength, and diameter. Lower and more consistent diameter would increase the competitiveness of cotton fiber with synthetic fiber, but we do not know how this trait is controlled. The complexity of the question is indicated by the existence of fibers in two major width classes in the major commercial species: broad and narrow fibers exist in commonly grown G. hirsutum, whereas G. barbadense produces only narrow fiber. To further understand how fiber diameter is controlled, we used ovule cultures, morphology measurements, and microtubule immunofluorescence to observe the effects of microtubule antagonists on fiber morphology, including shape and diameter within 80 µm of the apex. The treatments were applied at either one or two days post-anthesis during different stages of fiber morphogenesis. The results showed that inhibiting the presence and/or dynamic activity of microtubules caused larger diameter tips to form, with greater effects often observed with earlier treatment. The presence and geometry of a microtubule-depleted-zone below the apex were transiently correlated with the apical diameter of the narrow tip types. Similarly, the microtubule antagonists had somewhat different effects between tip types. Overall, the results demonstrate cell-type-specific mechanisms regulating fiber expansion within 80 µm of the apex, with variation in the impact of microtubules between tip types and over developmental time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00425-020-03557-1DOI Listing
January 2021

Domain swaps of Arabidopsis secondary wall cellulose synthases to elucidate their class specificity.

Plant Direct 2018 Jul 10;2(7):e00061. Epub 2018 Jul 10.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology The Center for Lignocellulose Structure and Formation Pennsylvania State University University Park Pennsylvania.

Cellulose microfibrils are synthesized by membrane-embedded cellulose synthesis complexes (CSCs), currently modeled as hexamers of cellulose synthase (CESA) trimers. The three paralogous CESAs involved in secondary cell wall (SCW) cellulose biosynthesis in Arabidopsis (CESA4, CESA7, CESA8) are similar, but nonredundant, with all three isoforms required for assembly and function of the CSC. The molecular basis of protein-protein recognition among the isoforms is not well understood. To investigate the locations of the interfaces that are responsible for isoform recognition, we swapped three domains between the Arabidopsis CESAs required for SCW synthesis (CESA4, CESA7, and CESA8): N-terminus, central domain containing the catalytic core, and C-terminus. Chimeric genes with all pairwise permutations of the domains were tested for in vivo functionality within knockout mutant backgrounds of , , and . Immunoblotting with isoform-specific antibodies confirmed the anticipated protein expression in transgenic plants. The percent recovery of stem height and crystalline cellulose content was assayed, as compared to wild type, the mutant background lines, and other controls. Retention of the native central domain was sufficient for CESA8 chimeras to function, with neither its N-terminal nor C-terminal domains required. The C-terminal domain is required for class-specific function of CESA4 and CESA7, and CESA7 also requires its own N-terminus. Across all isoforms, the results indicate that the central domain, as well as the N- and C-terminal regions, contributes to class-specific function variously in Arabidopsis CESA4, CESA7, and CESA8.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pld3.61DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6508838PMC
July 2018

Cultures of Gossypium barbadense cotton ovules offer insights into the microtubule-mediated control of fiber cell expansion.

Planta 2019 May 7;249(5):1551-1563. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, 27695, USA.

Main Conclusion: A novel method for culturing ovules of Gossypium barbadense allowed in vitro comparisons with Gossypium hirsutum and revealed variable roles of microtubules in controlling cotton fiber cell expansion. Cotton fibers undergo extensive elongation and secondary wall thickening as they develop into our most important renewable textile material. These single cells elongate at the apex as well as elongating and expanding in diameter behind the apex. These multiple growth modes represent an interesting difference compared to classical tip-growing cells that needs to be explored further. In vitro ovule culture enables experimental analysis of the controls of cotton fiber development in commonly grown Gossypium hirsutum cotton, but, previously, there was no equivalent system for G. barbadense, which produces higher quality cotton fiber. Here, we describe: (a) how to culture the ovules of G. barbadense successfully, and (b) the results of an in vitro experiment comparing the role of microtubules in controlling cell expansion in different zones near the apex of three types of cotton fiber tips. Adding the common herbicide fluridone, 1-Methyl-3-phenyl-5-[3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]-4(1H)-pyridinone, to the medium supported G. barbadense ovule culture, with positive impacts on the number of useful ovules and fiber length. The effect is potentially mediated through inhibited synthesis of abscisic acid, which antagonized the positive effects of fluridone. Fiber development was perturbed by adding colchicine, a microtubule antagonist, to ovules of G. barbadense and G. hirsutum cultured 2 days after flowering. The results supported the zonal control of cell expansion in one type of G. hirsutum fiber tip and highlighted differences in the role of microtubules in modulating cell expansion between three types of cotton fiber tips.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00425-019-03106-5DOI Listing
May 2019

Two types of cellulose synthesis complex knit the plant cell wall together.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018 07 18;115(27):6882-6884. Epub 2018 Jun 18.

Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695;

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1808423115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6142191PMC
July 2018

Cellulose synthase 'class specific regions' are intrinsically disordered and functionally undifferentiated.

J Integr Plant Biol 2018 Jun 30;60(6):481-497. Epub 2018 Mar 30.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Rhode Island, 120 Flagg Road, Kingston, RI, 02881, USA.

Cellulose synthases (CESAs) are glycosyltransferases that catalyze formation of cellulose microfibrils in plant cell walls. Seed plant CESA isoforms cluster in six phylogenetic clades, whose non-interchangeable members play distinct roles within cellulose synthesis complexes (CSCs). A 'class specific region' (CSR), with higher sequence similarity within versus between functional CESA classes, has been suggested to contribute to specific activities or interactions of different isoforms. We investigated CESA isoform specificity in the moss, Physcomitrella patens (Hedw.) B. S. G. to gain evolutionary insights into CESA structure/function relationships. Like seed plants, P. patens has oligomeric rosette-type CSCs, but the PpCESAs diverged independently and form a separate CESA clade. We showed that P. patens has two functionally distinct CESAs classes, based on the ability to complement the gametophore-negative phenotype of a ppcesa5 knockout line. Thus, non-interchangeable CESA classes evolved separately in mosses and seed plants. However, testing of chimeric moss CESA genes for complementation demonstrated that functional class-specificity is not determined by the CSR. Sequence analysis and computational modeling showed that the CSR is intrinsically disordered and contains predicted molecular recognition features, consistent with a possible role in CESA oligomerization and explaining the evolution of class-specific sequences without selection for class-specific function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jipb.12637DOI Listing
June 2018

Modifications to a LATE MERISTEM IDENTITY1 gene are responsible for the major leaf shapes of Upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.).

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2017 01 20;114(1):E57-E66. Epub 2016 Dec 20.

Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7620;

Leaf shape varies spectacularly among plants. Leaves are the primary source of photoassimilate in crop plants, and understanding the genetic basis of variation in leaf morphology is critical to improving agricultural productivity. Leaf shape played a unique role in cotton improvement, as breeders have selected for entire and lobed leaf morphs resulting from a single locus, okra (l-D), which is responsible for the major leaf shapes in cotton. The l-D locus is not only of agricultural importance in cotton, but through pioneering chimeric and morphometric studies, it has contributed to fundamental knowledge about leaf development. Here we show that an HD-Zip transcription factor homologous to the LATE MERISTEM IDENTITY1 (LMI1) gene of Arabidopsis is the causal gene underlying the l-D locus. The classical okra leaf shape allele has a 133-bp tandem duplication in the promoter, correlated with elevated expression, whereas an 8-bp deletion in the third exon of the presumed wild-type normal allele causes a frame-shifted and truncated coding sequence. Our results indicate that subokra is the ancestral leaf shape of tetraploid cotton that gave rise to the okra allele and that normal is a derived mutant allele that came to predominate and define the leaf shape of cultivated cotton. Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) of the LMI1-like gene in an okra variety was sufficient to induce normal leaf formation. The developmental changes in leaves conferred by this gene are associated with a photosynthetic transcriptomic signature, substantiating its use by breeders to produce a superior cotton ideotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1613593114DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5224360PMC
January 2017

Comparative Structural and Computational Analysis Supports Eighteen Cellulose Synthases in the Plant Cellulose Synthesis Complex.

Sci Rep 2016 06 27;6:28696. Epub 2016 Jun 27.

Department of Crop Science and Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA.

A six-lobed membrane spanning cellulose synthesis complex (CSC) containing multiple cellulose synthase (CESA) glycosyltransferases mediates cellulose microfibril formation. The number of CESAs in the CSC has been debated for decades in light of changing estimates of the diameter of the smallest microfibril formed from the β-1,4 glucan chains synthesized by one CSC. We obtained more direct evidence through generating improved transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images and image averages of the rosette-type CSC, revealing the frequent triangularity and average cross-sectional area in the plasma membrane of its individual lobes. Trimeric oligomers of two alternative CESA computational models corresponded well with individual lobe geometry. A six-fold assembly of the trimeric computational oligomer had the lowest potential energy per monomer and was consistent with rosette CSC morphology. Negative stain TEM and image averaging showed the triangularity of a recombinant CESA cytosolic domain, consistent with previous modeling of its trimeric nature from small angle scattering (SAXS) data. Six trimeric SAXS models nearly filled the space below an average FF-TEM image of the rosette CSC. In summary, the multifaceted data support a rosette CSC with 18 CESAs that mediates the synthesis of a fundamental microfibril composed of 18 glucan chains.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep28696DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4921827PMC
June 2016

Cotton fiber tips have diverse morphologies and show evidence of apical cell wall synthesis.

Sci Rep 2016 06 15;6:27883. Epub 2016 Jun 15.

Department of Crop Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695 USA.

Cotton fibers arise through highly anisotropic expansion of a single seed epidermal cell. We obtained evidence that apical cell wall synthesis occurs through examining the tips of young elongating Gossypium hirsutum (Gh) and G. barbadense (Gb) fibers. We characterized two tip types in Gh fiber (hemisphere and tapered), each with distinct apical diameter, central vacuole location, and distribution of cell wall components. The apex of Gh hemisphere tips was enriched in homogalacturonan epitopes, including a relatively high methyl-esterified form associated with cell wall pliability. Other wall components increased behind the apex including cellulose and the α-Fuc-(1,2)-β-Gal epitope predominantly found in xyloglucan. Gb fibers had only one narrow tip type featuring characters found in each Gh tip type. Pulse-labeling of cell wall glucans indicated wall synthesis at the apex of both Gh tip types and in distal zones. Living Gh hemisphere and Gb tips ruptured preferentially at the apex upon treatment with wall degrading enzymes, consistent with newly synthesized wall at the apex. Gh tapered tips ruptured either at the apex or distantly. Overall, the results reveal diverse cotton fiber tip morphologies and support primary wall synthesis occurring at the apex and discrete distal regions of the tip.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep27883DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4908599PMC
June 2016

The valine and lysine residues in the conserved FxVTxK motif are important for the function of phylogenetically distant plant cellulose synthases.

Glycobiology 2016 May 8;26(5):509-19. Epub 2015 Dec 8.

Department of Crop Science and Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA

Cellulose synthases (CESAs) synthesize the β-1,4-glucan chains that coalesce to form cellulose microfibrils in plant cell walls. In addition to a large cytosolic (catalytic) domain, CESAs have eight predicted transmembrane helices (TMHs). However, analogous to the structure of BcsA, a bacterial CESA, predicted TMH5 in CESA may instead be an interfacial helix. This would place the conserved FxVTxK motif in the plant cell cytosol where it could function as a substrate-gating loop as occurs in BcsA. To define the functional importance of the CESA region containing FxVTxK, we tested five parallel mutations in Arabidopsis thaliana CESA1 and Physcomitrella patens CESA5 in complementation assays of the relevant cesa mutants. In both organisms, the substitution of the valine or lysine residues in FxVTxK severely affected CESA function. In Arabidopsis roots, both changes were correlated with lower cellulose anisotropy, as revealed by Pontamine Fast Scarlet. Analysis of hypocotyl inner cell wall layers by atomic force microscopy showed that two altered versions of Atcesa1 could rescue cell wall phenotypes observed in the mutant background line. Overall, the data show that the FxVTxK motif is functionally important in two phylogenetically distant plant CESAs. The results show that Physcomitrella provides an efficient model for assessing the effects of engineered CESA mutations affecting primary cell wall synthesis and that diverse testing systems can lead to nuanced insights into CESA structure-function relationships. Although CESA membrane topology needs to be experimentally determined, the results support the possibility that the FxVTxK region functions similarly in CESA and BcsA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/glycob/cwv118DOI Listing
May 2016

A Structural Study of CESA1 Catalytic Domain of Arabidopsis Cellulose Synthesis Complex: Evidence for CESA Trimers.

Plant Physiol 2016 Jan 10;170(1):123-35. Epub 2015 Nov 10.

Biology and Soft Matter Division (V.G.V., Q.Z., W.T.H., L.C., H.O.), BioSciences Division (L.P., U.K.), Center for Molecular Biophysics (L.P., J.C.S.), and Neutron Sciences Directorate (P.L.), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831;Department of Biomedical Informatics (D.K.P., J.M.) and Department of Chemistry (J.M.), Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37232;Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania 16802 (B.T.N.);Department of Crop Science and Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, North Carolina State University, North Carolina 27695 (C.H.H.); andDepartment of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 (J.C.S., H.O.)

A cellulose synthesis complex with a "rosette" shape is responsible for synthesis of cellulose chains and their assembly into microfibrils within the cell walls of land plants and their charophyte algal progenitors. The number of cellulose synthase proteins in this large multisubunit transmembrane protein complex and the number of cellulose chains in a microfibril have been debated for many years. This work reports a low resolution structure of the catalytic domain of CESA1 from Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana; AtCESA1CatD) determined by small-angle scattering techniques and provides the first experimental evidence for the self-assembly of CESA into a stable trimer in solution. The catalytic domain was overexpressed in Escherichia coli, and using a two-step procedure, it was possible to isolate monomeric and trimeric forms of AtCESA1CatD. The conformation of monomeric and trimeric AtCESA1CatD proteins were studied using small-angle neutron scattering and small-angle x-ray scattering. A series of AtCESA1CatD trimer computational models were compared with the small-angle x-ray scattering trimer profile to explore the possible arrangement of the monomers in the trimers. Several candidate trimers were identified with monomers oriented such that the newly synthesized cellulose chains project toward the cell membrane. In these models, the class-specific region is found at the periphery of the complex, and the plant-conserved region forms the base of the trimer. This study strongly supports the "hexamer of trimers" model for the rosette cellulose synthesis complex that synthesizes an 18-chain cellulose microfibril as its fundamental product.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1104/pp.15.01356DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4704586PMC
January 2016

Metabolomic and transcriptomic insights into how cotton fiber transitions to secondary wall synthesis, represses lignification, and prolongs elongation.

BMC Genomics 2015 Jun 27;16:477. Epub 2015 Jun 27.

Department of Crop Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, 27695, USA.

Background: The morphogenesis of single-celled cotton fiber includes extreme elongation and staged cell wall differentiation. Designing strategies for improving cotton fiber for textiles and other uses relies on uncovering the related regulatory mechanisms. In this research we compared the transcriptomes and metabolomes of two Gossypium genotypes, Gossypium barbadense cv Phytogen 800 and G. hirsutum cv Deltapine 90. When grown in parallel, the two types of fiber developed similarly except for prolonged fiber elongation in the G. barbadense cultivar. The data were collected from isolated fibers between 10 to 28 days post anthesis (DPA) representing: primary wall synthesis to support elongation; transitional cell wall remodeling; and secondary wall cellulose synthesis, which was accompanied by continuing elongation only in G. barbadense fiber.

Results: Of 206 identified fiber metabolites, 205 were held in common between the two genotypes. Approximately 38,000 transcripts were expressed in the fiber of each genotype, and these were mapped to the reference set and interpreted by homology to known genes. The developmental changes in the transcriptomes and the metabolomes were compared within and across genotypes with several novel implications. Transitional cell wall remodeling is a distinct stable developmental stage lasting at least four days (18 to 21 DPA). Expression of selected cell wall related transcripts was similar between genotypes, but cellulose synthase gene expression patterns were more complex than expected. Lignification was transcriptionally repressed in both genotypes. Oxidative stress was lower in the fiber of G. barbadense cv Phytogen 800 as compared to G. hirsutum cv Deltapine 90. Correspondingly, the G. barbadense cultivar had enhanced capacity for management of reactive oxygen species during its prolonged elongation period, as indicated by a 138-fold increase in ascorbate concentration at 28 DPA.

Conclusions: The parallel data on deep-sequencing transcriptomics and non-targeted metabolomics for two genotypes of single-celled cotton fiber showed that a discrete developmental stage of transitional cell wall remodeling occurs before secondary wall cellulose synthesis begins. The data showed how lignification can be transcriptionally repressed during secondary cell wall synthesis, and they implicated enhanced capacity to manage reactive oxygen species through the ascorbate-glutathione cycle as a positive contributor to fiber length.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-015-1708-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4482290PMC
June 2015

Virus-induced gene silencing of fiber-related genes in cotton.

Methods Mol Biol 2015 ;1287:219-34

Department of Crop Science, North Carolina State University, Box 7620, Raleigh, NC, 27695-7620, USA.

Virus-Induced Gene Silencing (VIGS) is a useful method for transient downregulation of gene expression in crop plants. The geminivirus Cotton leaf crumple virus (CLCrV) has been modified to serve as a VIGS vector for persistent gene silencing in cotton. Here the use of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) is described as a marker for identifying silenced tissues in reproductive tissues, a procedure that requires the use of transgenic plants. Suggestions are given for isolating and cloning combinations of target and marker sequences so that the total length of inserted foreign DNA is between 500 and 750 bp. Using this strategy, extensive silencing is achieved with only 200-400 bp of sequence homologous to an endogenous gene, reducing the possibility of off-target silencing. Cotyledons can be inoculated using either the gene gun or Agrobacterium and will continue to show silencing throughout fruit and fiber development. CLCrV is not transmitted through seed, and VIGS is limited to genes expressed in the maternally derived seed coat and fiber in the developing seed. This complicates the use of GFP as a marker for VIGS because cotton fibers must be separated from unsilenced tissue in the seed to determine if they are silenced. Nevertheless, fibers from a large number of seeds can be rapidly screened following placement into 96-well plates. Methods for quantifying the extent of silencing using semiquantitative RT-PCR are given.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-2453-0_16DOI Listing
November 2015

Computational and genetic evidence that different structural conformations of a non-catalytic region affect the function of plant cellulose synthase.

J Exp Bot 2014 Dec 26;65(22):6645-53. Epub 2014 Sep 26.

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA

The β-1,4-glucan chains comprising cellulose are synthesized by cellulose synthases in the plasma membranes of diverse organisms including bacteria and plants. Understanding structure-function relationships in the plant enzymes involved in cellulose synthesis (CESAs) is important because cellulose is the most abundant component in the plant cell wall, a key renewable biomaterial. Here, we explored the structure and function of the region encompassing transmembrane helices (TMHs) 5 and 6 in CESA using computational and genetic tools. Ab initio computational structure prediction revealed novel bi-modal structural conformations of the region between TMH5 and 6 that may affect CESA function. Here we present our computational findings on this region in three CESAs of Arabidopsis thaliana (AtCESA1, 3, and 6), the Atcesa3(ixr1-2) mutant, and a novel missense mutation in AtCESA1. A newly engineered point mutation in AtCESA1 (Atcesa1(F954L) ) that altered the structural conformation in silico resulted in a protein that was not fully functional in the temperature-sensitive Atcesa1(rsw1-1) mutant at the restrictive temperature. The combination of computational and genetic results provides evidence that the ability of the TMH5-6 region to adopt specific structural conformations is important for CESA function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/eru383DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4246192PMC
December 2014

Molecular modeling and imaging of initial stages of cellulose fibril assembly: evidence for a disordered intermediate stage.

PLoS One 2014 10;9(4):e93981. Epub 2014 Apr 10.

Centre de Mise en Forme des Matériaux, Mines ParisTech/Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Sophia Antipolis, France.

The remarkable mechanical strength of cellulose reflects the arrangement of multiple β-1,4-linked glucan chains in a para-crystalline fibril. During plant cellulose biosynthesis, a multimeric cellulose synthesis complex (CSC) moves within the plane of the plasma membrane as many glucan chains are synthesized from the same end and in close proximity. Many questions remain about the mechanism of cellulose fibril assembly, for example must multiple catalytic subunits within one CSC polymerize cellulose at the same rate? How does the cellulose fibril bend to align horizontally with the cell wall? Here we used mathematical modeling to investigate the interactions between glucan chains immediately after extrusion on the plasma membrane surface. Molecular dynamics simulations on groups of six glucans, each originating from a position approximating its extrusion site, revealed initial formation of an uncrystallized aggregate of chains from which a protofibril arose spontaneously through a ratchet mechanism involving hydrogen bonds and van der Waals interactions between glucose monomers. Consistent with the predictions from the model, freeze-fracture transmission electron microscopy using improved methods revealed a hemispherical accumulation of material at points of origination of apparent cellulose fibrils on the external surface of the plasma membrane where rosette-type CSCs were also observed. Together the data support the possibility that a zone of uncrystallized chains on the plasma membrane surface buffers the predicted variable rates of cellulose polymerization from multiple catalytic subunits within the CSC and acts as a flexible hinge allowing the horizontal alignment of the crystalline cellulose fibrils relative to the cell wall.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0093981PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3983097PMC
January 2015

Changes in the cell wall and cellulose content of developing cotton fibers investigated by FTIR spectroscopy.

Carbohydr Polym 2014 Jan 1;100:9-16. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute, Department of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA. Electronic address:

Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra of cotton fibers harvested at different stages of development were acquired using Universal Attenuated Total Reflectance FTIR (UATR-FTIR). The main goal of the study was to monitor cell wall changes occurring during different phases of cotton fiber development. Two cultivars of Gossypium hirsutum L. were planted in a greenhouse (Texas Marker-1 and TX55). On the day of flowering, individual flowers were tagged and bolls were harvested. From fibers harvested on numerous days between 10 and 56 dpa, the FTIR spectra were acquired using UATR (ZnSe-Diamond crystal) with no special sample preparation. The changes in the FTIR spectra were used to document the timing of the transition between primary and secondary cell wall synthesis. Changes in cellulose during cotton fiber growth and development were identified through changes in numerous vibrations within the spectra. The intensity of the vibration bands at 667 and 897 cm(-1) correlated with percentage of cellulose analyzed chemically.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2013.01.074DOI Listing
January 2014

Cellulose synthases: new insights from crystallography and modeling.

Trends Plant Sci 2014 Feb 16;19(2):99-106. Epub 2013 Oct 16.

Center for Membrane Biology, Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

Detailed information about the structure and biochemical mechanisms of cellulose synthase (CelS) proteins remained elusive until a complex containing the catalytic subunit (BcsA) of CelS from Rhodobacter sphaeroides was crystalized. Additionally, a 3D structure of most of the cytosolic domain of a plant CelS (GhCESA1 from cotton, Gossypium hirsutum) was produced by computational modeling. This predicted structure contributes to our understanding of how plant CelS proteins may be similar and different as compared with BcsA. In this review, we highlight how these structures impact our understanding of the synthesis of cellulose and other extracellular polysaccharides. We show how the structures can be used to generate hypotheses for experiments testing mechanisms of glucan synthesis and translocation in plant CelS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tplants.2013.09.009DOI Listing
February 2014

Tertiary model of a plant cellulose synthase.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2013 Apr 16;110(18):7512-7. Epub 2013 Apr 16.

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA.

A 3D atomistic model of a plant cellulose synthase (CESA) has remained elusive despite over forty years of experimental effort. Here, we report a computationally predicted 3D structure of 506 amino acids of cotton CESA within the cytosolic region. Comparison of the predicted plant CESA structure with the solved structure of a bacterial cellulose-synthesizing protein validates the overall fold of the modeled glycosyltransferase (GT) domain. The coaligned plant and bacterial GT domains share a six-stranded β-sheet, five α-helices, and conserved motifs similar to those required for catalysis in other GT-2 glycosyltransferases. Extending beyond the cross-kingdom similarities related to cellulose polymerization, the predicted structure of cotton CESA reveals that plant-specific modules (plant-conserved region and class-specific region) fold into distinct subdomains on the periphery of the catalytic region. Computational results support the importance of the plant-conserved region and/or class-specific region in CESA oligomerization to form the multimeric cellulose-synthesis complexes that are characteristic of plants. Relatively high sequence conservation between plant CESAs allowed mapping of known mutations and two previously undescribed mutations that perturb cellulose synthesis in Arabidopsis thaliana to their analogous positions in the modeled structure. Most of these mutation sites are near the predicted catalytic region, and the confluence of other mutation sites supports the existence of previously undefined functional nodes within the catalytic core of CESA. Overall, the predicted tertiary structure provides a platform for the biochemical engineering of plant CESAs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1301027110DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3645513PMC
April 2013

Cotton fiber cell walls of Gossypium hirsutum and Gossypium barbadense have differences related to loosely-bound xyloglucan.

PLoS One 2013 14;8(2):e56315. Epub 2013 Feb 14.

Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, United States of America.

Cotton fiber is an important natural textile fiber due to its exceptional length and thickness. These properties arise largely through primary and secondary cell wall synthesis. The cotton fiber of commerce is a cellulosic secondary wall surrounded by a thin cuticulated primary wall, but there were only sparse details available about the polysaccharides in the fiber cell wall of any cotton species. In addition, Gossypium hirsutum (Gh) fiber was known to have an adhesive cotton fiber middle lamella (CFML) that joins adjacent fibers into tissue-like bundles, but it was unknown whether a CFML existed in other commercially important cotton fibers. We compared the cell wall chemistry over the time course of fiber development in Gh and Gossypium barbadense (Gb), the two most important commercial cotton species, when plants were grown in parallel in a highly controlled greenhouse. Under these growing conditions, the rate of early fiber elongation and the time of onset of secondary wall deposition were similar in fibers of the two species, but as expected the Gb fiber had a prolonged elongation period and developed higher quality compared to Gh fiber. The Gb fibers had a CFML, but it was not directly required for fiber elongation because Gb fiber continued to elongate rapidly after CFML hydrolysis. For both species, fiber at seven ages was extracted with four increasingly strong solvents, followed by analysis of cell wall matrix polysaccharide epitopes using antibody-based Glycome Profiling. Together with immunohistochemistry of fiber cross-sections, the data show that the CFML of Gb fiber contained lower levels of xyloglucan compared to Gh fiber. Xyloglucan endo-hydrolase activity was also higher in Gb fiber. In general, the data provide a rich picture of the similarities and differences in the cell wall structure of the two most important commercial cotton species.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0056315PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3572956PMC
August 2013

Repeated polyploidization of Gossypium genomes and the evolution of spinnable cotton fibres.

Nature 2012 Dec;492(7429):423-7

Plant Genome Mapping Laboratory, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA.

Polyploidy often confers emergent properties, such as the higher fibre productivity and quality of tetraploid cottons than diploid cottons bred for the same environments. Here we show that an abrupt five- to sixfold ploidy increase approximately 60 million years (Myr) ago, and allopolyploidy reuniting divergent Gossypium genomes approximately 1-2 Myr ago, conferred about 30-36-fold duplication of ancestral angiosperm (flowering plant) genes in elite cottons (Gossypium hirsutum and Gossypium barbadense), genetic complexity equalled only by Brassica among sequenced angiosperms. Nascent fibre evolution, before allopolyploidy, is elucidated by comparison of spinnable-fibred Gossypium herbaceum A and non-spinnable Gossypium longicalyx F genomes to one another and the outgroup D genome of non-spinnable Gossypium raimondii. The sequence of a G. hirsutum A(t)D(t) (in which 't' indicates tetraploid) cultivar reveals many non-reciprocal DNA exchanges between subgenomes that may have contributed to phenotypic innovation and/or other emergent properties such as ecological adaptation by polyploids. Most DNA-level novelty in G. hirsutum recombines alleles from the D-genome progenitor native to its New World habitat and the Old World A-genome progenitor in which spinnable fibre evolved. Coordinated expression changes in proximal groups of functionally distinct genes, including a nuclear mitochondrial DNA block, may account for clusters of cotton-fibre quantitative trait loci affecting diverse traits. Opportunities abound for dissecting emergent properties of other polyploids, particularly angiosperms, by comparison to diploid progenitors and outgroups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11798DOI Listing
December 2012

Method: low-cost delivery of the cotton leaf crumple virus-induced gene silencing system.

Plant Methods 2012 Aug 1;8(1):27. Epub 2012 Aug 1.

Department of Crop Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA.

Background: We previously developed a virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) vector for cotton from the bipartite geminivirusCotton leaf crumple virus (CLCrV). The original CLCrV VIGS vector was designed for biolistic delivery by a gene gun. This prerequisite limited the use of the system to labs with access to biolistic equipment. Here we describe the adaptation of this system for delivery by Agrobacterium (Agrobacterium tumefaciens). We also describe the construction of two low-cost particle inflow guns.

Results: The biolistic CLCrV vector was transferred into two Agrobacterium binary plasmids. Agroinoculation of the binary plasmids into cotton resulted in silencing and GFP expression comparable to the biolistic vector. Two homemade low-cost gene guns were used to successfully inoculate cotton (G. hirsutum) and N. benthamiana with either the CLCrV VIGS vector or the Tomato golden mosaic virus (TGMV) VIGS vector respectively.

Conclusions: These innovations extend the versatility of CLCrV-based VIGS for analyzing gene function in cotton. The two low-cost gene guns make VIGS experiments affordable for both research and teaching labs by providing a working alternative to expensive commercial gene guns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1746-4811-8-27DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3441267PMC
August 2012

Moss cell walls: structure and biosynthesis.

Front Plant Sci 2012 19;3:166. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, USA.

The genome sequence of the moss Physcomitrella patens has stimulated new research examining the cell wall polysaccharides of mosses and the glycosyl transferases that synthesize them as a means to understand fundamental processes of cell wall biosynthesis and plant cell wall evolution. The cell walls of mosses and vascular plants are composed of the same classes of polysaccharides, but with differences in side chain composition and structure. Similarly, the genomes of P. patens and angiosperms encode the same families of cell wall glycosyl transferases, yet, in many cases these families have diversified independently in each lineage. Our understanding of land plant evolution could be enhanced by more complete knowledge of the relationships among glycosyl transferase functional diversification, cell wall structural and biochemical specialization, and the roles of cell walls in plant adaptation. As a foundation for these studies, we review the features of P. patens as an experimental system, analyses of cell wall composition in various moss species, recent studies that elucidate the structure and biosynthesis of cell wall polysaccharides in P. patens, and phylogenetic analysis of P. patens genes potentially involved in cell wall biosynthesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2012.00166DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3400098PMC
August 2012

Cotton fiber: a powerful single-cell model for cell wall and cellulose research.

Front Plant Sci 2012 21;3:104. Epub 2012 May 21.

Department of Crop Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA.

Cotton fibers are single-celled extensions of the seed epidermis. They can be isolated in pure form as they undergo staged differentiation including primary cell wall synthesis during elongation and nearly pure cellulose synthesis during secondary wall thickening. This combination of features supports clear interpretation of data about cell walls and cellulose synthesis in the context of high throughput modern experimental technologies. Prior contributions of cotton fiber to building fundamental knowledge about cell walls will be summarized and the dynamic changes in cell wall polymers throughout cotton fiber differentiation will be described. Recent successes in using stable cotton transformation to alter cotton fiber cell wall properties as well as cotton fiber quality will be discussed. Futurec prospects to perform experiments more rapidly through altering cotton fiberwall properties via virus-induced gene silencing will be evaluated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2012.00104DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3356883PMC
August 2012

Starch self-processing in transgenic sweet potato roots expressing a hyperthermophilic α-amylase.

Biotechnol Prog 2011 Mar-Apr;27(2):351-9. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Box 7609, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA.

Sweet potato is a major crop in the southeastern United States, which requires few inputs and grows well on marginal land. It accumulates large quantities of starch in the storage roots and has been shown to give comparable or superior ethanol yields to corn per cultivated acre in the southeast. Starch conversion to fermentable sugars (i.e., for ethanol production) is carried out at high temperatures and requires the action of thermostable and thermoactive amylolytic enzymes. These enzymes are added to the starch mixture impacting overall process economics. To address this shortcoming, the gene encoding a hyperthermophilic α-amylase from Thermotoga maritima was cloned and expressed in transgenic sweet potato, generated by Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation, to create a plant with the ability to self-process starch. No significant enzyme activity could be detected below 40°C, but starch in the transgenic sweet potato storage roots was readily hydrolyzed at 80°C. The transgene did not affect normal storage root formation. The results presented here demonstrate that engineering plants with hyperthermophilic glycoside hydrolases can facilitate cost effective starch conversion to fermentable sugars. Furthermore, the use of sweet potato as an alternative near-term energy crop should be considered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/btpr.573DOI Listing
September 2011

Perturbation of wood cellulose synthesis causes pleiotropic effects in transgenic aspen.

Mol Plant 2011 Mar 7;4(2):331-45. Epub 2011 Feb 7.

Biotechnology Research Center, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA.

Genetic manipulation of cellulose biosynthesis in trees may provide novel insights into the growth and development of trees. To explore this possibility, the overexpression of an aspen secondary wall-associated cellulose synthase (PtdCesA8) gene was attempted in transgenic aspen (Populus tremuloides L.) and unexpectedly resulted in silencing of the transgene as well as its endogenous counterparts. The main axis of the transgenic aspen plants quickly stopped growing, and weak branches adopted a weeping growth habit. Furthermore, transgenic plants initially developed smaller leaves and a less extensive root system. Secondary xylem (wood) of transgenic aspen plants contained as little as 10% cellulose normalized to dry weight compared to 41% cellulose typically found in normal aspen wood. This massive reduction in cellulose was accompanied by proportional increases in lignin (35%) and non-cellulosic polysaccharides (55%) compared to the 22% lignin and 36% non-cellulosic polysaccharides in control plants. The transgenic stems produced typical collapsed or 'irregular' xylem vessels that had altered secondary wall morphology and contained greatly reduced amounts of crystalline cellulose. These results demonstrate the fundamental role of secondary wall cellulose within the secondary xylem in maintaining the strength and structural integrity required to establish the vertical growth habit in trees.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mp/ssq081DOI Listing
March 2011

Gene expression in developing fibres of Upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) was massively altered by domestication.

BMC Biol 2010 Nov 15;8:139. Epub 2010 Nov 15.

Department of Ecology, 251 Bessey Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA.

Background: Understanding the evolutionary genetics of modern crop phenotypes has a dual relevance to evolutionary biology and crop improvement. Modern upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) was developed following thousands of years of artificial selection from a wild form, G. hirsutum var. yucatanense, which bears a shorter, sparser, layer of single-celled, ovular trichomes ('fibre'). In order to gain an insight into the nature of the developmental genetic transformations that accompanied domestication and crop improvement, we studied the transcriptomes of cotton fibres from wild and domesticated accessions over a developmental time course.

Results: Fibre cells were harvested between 2 and 25 days post-anthesis and encompassed the primary and secondary wall synthesis stages. Using amplified messenger RNA and a custom microarray platform designed to interrogate expression for 40,430 genes, we determined global patterns of expression during fibre development. The fibre transcriptome of domesticated cotton is far more dynamic than that of wild cotton, with over twice as many genes being differentially expressed during development (12,626 versus 5273). Remarkably, a total of 9465 genes were diagnosed as differentially expressed between wild and domesticated fibres when summed across five key developmental time points. Human selection during the initial domestication and subsequent crop improvement has resulted in a biased upregulation of components of the transcriptional network that are important for agronomically advanced fibre, especially in the early stages of development. About 15% of the differentially expressed genes in wild versus domesticated cotton fibre have no homology to the genes in databases.

Conclusions: We show that artificial selection during crop domestication can radically alter the transcriptional developmental network of even a single-celled structure, affecting nearly a quarter of the genes in the genome. Gene expression during fibre development within accessions and expression alteration arising from evolutionary change appears to be 'modular' - complex genic networks have been simultaneously and similarly transformed, in a coordinated fashion, as a consequence of human-mediated selection. These results highlight the complex alteration of the global gene expression machinery that resulted from human selection for a longer, stronger and finer fibre, as well as other aspects of fibre physiology that were not consciously selected. We illustrate how the data can be mined for genes that were unwittingly targeted by aboriginal and/or modern domesticators during crop improvement and/or which potentially control the improved qualities of domesticated cotton fibre.See Commentary: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/8/137.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1741-7007-8-139DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2992495PMC
November 2010

Phylogenetically distinct cellulose synthase genes support secondary wall thickening in arabidopsis shoot trichomes and cotton fiber.

J Integr Plant Biol 2010 Feb;52(2):205-20

Department of Plant Biology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7612, USA.

Abstract Through exploring potential analogies between cotton seed trichomes (or cotton fiber) and arabidopsis shoot trichomes we discovered that CesAs from either the primary or secondary wall phylogenetic clades can support secondary wall thickening. CesA genes that typically support primary wall synthesis, AtCesA1,2,3,5, and 6, underpin expansion and secondary wall thickening of arabidopsis shoot trichomes. In contrast, apparent orthologs of CesA genes that support secondary wall synthesis in arabidopsis xylem, AtCesA4,7, and 8, are up-regulated for cotton fiber secondary wall deposition. These conclusions arose from: (a) analyzing the expression of CesA genes in arabidopsis shoot trichomes; (b) observing birefringent secondary walls in arabidopsis shoot trichomes with mutations in AtCesA4, 7, or 8; (c) assaying up-regulated genes during different stages of cotton fiber development; and (d) comparing genes that were co-expressed with primary or secondary wall CesAs in arabidopsis with genes up-regulated in arabidopsis trichomes, arabidopsis secondary xylem, or cotton fiber during primary or secondary wall deposition. Cumulatively, the data show that: (a) the xylem of arabidopsis provides the best model for secondary wall cellulose synthesis in cotton fiber; and (b) CesA genes within a "cell wall toolbox" are used in diverse ways for the construction of particular specialized cell walls.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-7909.2010.00934.xDOI Listing
February 2010

Plant cell calcium-rich environment enhances thermostability of recombinantly produced alpha-amylase from the hyperthermophilic bacterium Thermotoga maritime.

Biotechnol Bioeng 2009 Dec;104(5):947-56

Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695, USA.

In the industrial processing of starch for sugar syrup and ethanol production, a liquefaction step is involved where starch is initially solubilized at high temperature and partially hydrolyzed with a thermostable and thermoactive alpha-amylase. Most amylases require calcium as a cofactor for their activity and stability, therefore calcium, along with the thermostable enzyme, are typically added to the starch mixture during enzymatic liquefaction, thereby increasing process costs. An attractive alternative would be to produce the enzyme directly in the tissue to be treated. In a proof of concept study, tobacco cell cultures were used as model system to test in planta production of a hyperthermophilic alpha-amylase from Thermotoga maritima. While comparable biochemical properties to recombinant production in Escherichia coli were observed, thermostability of the plant-produced alpha-amylase benefited significantly from high intrinsic calcium levels in the tobacco cells. The plant-made enzyme retained 85% of its initial activity after 3 h incubation at 100 degrees C, whereas the E. coli-produced enzyme was completely inactivated after 30 min under the same conditions. The addition of Ca(2+) or plant cell extracts from tobacco and sweetpotato to the E. coli-produced enzyme resulted in a similar stabilization, demonstrating the importance of a calcium-rich environment for thermostability, as well as the advantage of producing this enzyme directly in plant cells where calcium is readily available.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bit.22468DOI Listing
December 2009

A synthetic auxin (NAA) suppresses secondary wall cellulose synthesis and enhances elongation in cultured cotton fiber.

Plant Cell Rep 2009 Jul 29;28(7):1023-32. Epub 2009 May 29.

Department of Crop Science, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 7620, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA.

Use of a synthetic auxin (naphthalene-1-acetic acid, NAA) to start (Gossypium hirsutum) ovule/fiber cultures hindered fiber secondary wall cellulose synthesis compared with natural auxin (indole-3-acetic acid, IAA). In contrast, NAA promoted fiber elongation and ovule weight gain, which resulted in larger ovule/fiber units. To reach these conclusions, fiber and ovule growth parameters were measured and cell wall characteristics were examined microscopically. The differences in fiber from NAA and IAA culture were underpinned by changes in the expression patterns of marker genes for three fiber developmental stages (elongation, the transition stage, and secondary wall deposition), and these gene expression patterns were also analyzed quantitatively in plant-grown fiber. The results demonstrate that secondary wall cellulose synthesis: (1) is under strong transcriptional control that is influenced by auxin; and (2) must be specifically characterized in the cotton ovule/fiber culture system given the many protocol variables employed in different laboratories.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00299-009-0714-2DOI Listing
July 2009

A specialized outer layer of the primary cell wall joins elongating cotton fibers into tissue-like bundles.

Plant Physiol 2009 Jun 15;150(2):684-99. Epub 2009 Apr 15.

North Carolina State University, Department of Crop Science, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7620, USA.

Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) provides the world's dominant renewable textile fiber, and cotton fiber is valued as a research model because of its extensive elongation and secondary wall thickening. Previously, it was assumed that fibers elongated as individual cells. In contrast, observation by cryo-field emission-scanning electron microscopy of cotton fibers developing in situ within the boll demonstrated that fibers elongate within tissue-like bundles. These bundles were entrained by twisting fiber tips and consolidated by adhesion of a cotton fiber middle lamella (CFML). The fiber bundles consolidated via the CFML ultimately formed a packet of fiber around each seed, which helps explain how thousands of cotton fibers achieve their great length within a confined space. The cell wall nature of the CFML was characterized using transmission electron microscopy, including polymer epitope labeling. Toward the end of elongation, up-regulation occurred in gene expression and enzyme activities related to cell wall hydrolysis, and targeted breakdown of the CFML restored fiber individuality. At the same time, losses occurred in certain cell wall polymer epitopes (as revealed by comprehensive microarray polymer profiling) and sugars within noncellulosic matrix components (as revealed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of derivatized neutral and acidic glycosyl residues). Broadly, these data show that adhesion modulated by an outer layer of the primary wall can coordinate the extensive growth of a large group of cells and illustrate dynamic changes in primary wall structure and composition occurring during the differentiation of one cell type that spends only part of its life as a tissue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1104/pp.109.135459DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2689960PMC
June 2009

A new method for isolating large quantities of Arabidopsis trichomes for transcriptome, cell wall and other types of analyses.

Plant J 2008 Nov 4;56(3):483-92. Epub 2008 Aug 4.

Department of Plant Biology, University of Minnesota, 1445 Gortner Ave., St Paul, MN 55108, USA.

A new procedure has been developed for the isolation of wild-type and mutant Arabidopsis trichomes. The isolated trichomes maintained enzymatic activity and were used for DNA, protein, and RNA isolation. The RNA was used to generate probes suitable for Affymetrix analysis. The validity of the Affymetrix results was confirmed by quantitative PCR analysis on a subset of genes that are preferentially expressed in trichomes or leaves. Sufficient quantities of trichomes were isolated to probe the biochemical nature of trichome cell walls. These analyses provide evidence for the presence of lignin in Arabidopsis trichome cell walls. The monosaccharide analysis and positive staining with ruthenium red indicates that the walls also contain a large portion of pectin. The 2.23-fold ratio of pectin-related sugars compared with potential cellulosic glucose suggests that the polysaccharides of the trichome cell walls are more like those of typical primary walls even though the wall becomes quite thick. Overall, these analyses open the door to using the Arabidopsis trichome cell wall as an excellent model to probe various questions concerning plant cell wall biosynthesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-313X.2008.03611.xDOI Listing
November 2008
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