Identification and characterization of Arabidopsis thaliana genes involved in xylem secondary cell walls

Ryusuke Yokoyama, Kazuhiko Nishitani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


The xylem of higher plants offers support to aerial portions of the plant body and serves as conduit for the translocation of water and nutrients. Terminal differentiation of xylem cells typically involves deposition of thick secondary cell walls. This is a dynamic cellular process accompanied by enhanced rates of cellulose deposition and the induction of synthesis of specific secondary-wall matrix polysaccharides and lignin. The secondary cell wall is essential for the function of conductive and supportive xylem tissues. Recently, significant progress has been made in identifying the genes responsible for xylem secondary cell wall formation. However, our present knowledge is still insufficient to account for the molecular processes by which this complex system operates. To acquire further information about xylem secondary cell walls, we initially focused our research effort on a set of genes specifically implicated in secondary cell wall formation, as well as on loss-of-function mutants. Results from two microarray screens identified several key candidate genes responsible for secondary cell wall formation. Reverse genetic analyses led to the identification of a glycine-rich protein involved in maintaining the stable structure of protoxylem, which is essential for the transport of water and nutrients. A combination of expression analyses and reverse genetics allows us to systematically identify new genes required for the development of physical properties of the xylem secondary wall.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-194
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Plant Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006 May


  • Arabidopsis
  • Microarray
  • Reverse genetics
  • Secondary cell wall
  • Weight signal
  • Xylem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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