Functional characterization of genes mediating cell wall metabolism and responses to plant cell wall integrity impairment

Timo Engelsdorf, Lars Kjaer, Nora Gigli-Bisceglia, Lauri Vaahtera, Stefan Bauer, Eva Miedes, Alexandra Wormit, Lucinda James, Issariya Chairam, Antonio Molina, Thorsten Hamann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Plant cell walls participate in all plant-environment interactions. Maintaining cell wall integrity (CWI) during these interactions is essential. This realization led to increased interest in CWI and resulted in knowledge regarding early perception and signalling mechanisms active during CWI maintenance. By contrast, knowledge regarding processes mediating changes in cell wall metabolism upon CWI impairment is very limited.

RESULTS: To identify genes involved and to investigate their contributions to the processes we selected 23 genes with altered expression in response to CWI impairment and characterized the impact of T-DNA insertions in these genes on cell wall composition using Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) in Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings. Insertions in 14 genes led to cell wall phenotypes detectable by FTIR. A detailed analysis of four genes found that their altered expression upon CWI impairment is dependent on THE1 activity, a key component of CWI maintenance. Phenotypic characterizations of insertion lines suggest that the four genes are required for particular aspects of CWI maintenance, cell wall composition or resistance to Plectosphaerella cucumerina infection in adult plants.

CONCLUSION: Taken together, the results implicate the genes in responses to CWI impairment, cell wall metabolism and/or pathogen defence, thus identifying new molecular components and processes relevant for CWI maintenance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320
JournalBMC Plant Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Arabidopsis/genetics
  • Ascomycota
  • Cell Wall/metabolism
  • Disease Resistance/genetics
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant/genetics
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Genes, Plant/physiology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Plant Diseases/immunology
  • Seedlings/metabolism
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared


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