Cellulose, often touted as the most abundant biopolymer on Earth, is a critical component of the plant cell wall and is synthesized by plasma membrane-spanning cellulose synthase (CESA) enzymes, which in plants are organized into rosette-like CESA complexes (CSCs). Plants construct two types of cell walls, primary cell walls (PCWs) and secondary cell walls (SCWs), which differ in composition, structure, and purpose. Cellulose in PCWs and SCWs is chemically identical but has different physical characteristics. During PCW synthesis, multiple dispersed CSCs move along a shared linear track in opposing directions while synthesizing cellulose microfibrils with low aggregation. In contrast, during SCW synthesis, we observed swaths of densely arranged CSCs that moved in the same direction along tracks while synthesizing cellulose microfibrils that became highly aggregated. Our data support a model in which distinct spatiotemporal features of active CSCs during PCW and SCW synthesis contribute to the formation of cellulose with distinct structure and organization in PCWs and SCWs of Arabidopsis thaliana. This study provides a foundation for understanding differences in the formation, structure, and organization of cellulose in PCWs and SCWs.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - Oct 4 2016
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