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Rhamnose-Containing Cell Wall Polymers Suppress Helical Plant Growth Independently of Microtubule Orientation.

Current biology : CB | Aug 7, 2017

Although specific organs in some plant species exhibit helical growth patterns of fixed or variable handedness, most plant organs are not helical. Here we report that mutations in Arabidopsis RHAMNOSE BIOSYNTHESIS 1 (RHM1) cause dramatic left-handed helical growth of petal epidermal cells, leading to left-handed twisted petals. rhm1 mutant roots also display left-handed growth. Furthermore, we find that RHM1 is required to promote epidermal cell expansion. RHM1 encodes a UDP-L-rhamnose synthase, and rhm1 mutations affect synthesis of the pectic polysaccharide rhamnogalacturonan-I. Unlike other mutants that exhibit helical growth of fixed handedness, the orientation of cortical microtubule arrays is unaltered in rhm1 mutants. Our findings reveal a novel source of left-handed plant growth caused by changes in cell wall composition that is independent of microtubule orientation. We propose that an important function of rhamnose-containing cell wall polymers is to suppress helical twisting of expanding plant cells.

Pubmed ID: 28736166 RIS Download

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