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EMBO J. Oct 1, 1998; 17(19): 5563–5576.
PMCID: PMC1170885

A plasma membrane-bound putative endo-1,4-beta-D-glucanase is required for normal wall assembly and cell elongation in Arabidopsis.


Endo-1,4-beta-D-glucanases (EGases) form a large family of hydrolytic enzymes in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In higher plants, potential substrates in vivo are xyloglucan and non-crystalline cellulose in the cell wall. Gene expression patterns suggest a role for EGases in various developmental processes such as leaf abscission, fruit ripening and cell expansion. Using Arabidopsis thaliana genetics, we demonstrate the requirement of a specialized member of the EGase family for the correct assembly of the walls of elongating cells. KORRIGAN (KOR) is identified by an extreme dwarf mutant with pronounced architectural alterations in the primary cell wall. The KOR gene was isolated and encodes a membrane-anchored member of the EGase family, which is highly conserved between mono- and dicotyledonous plants. KOR is located primarily in the plasma membrane and presumably acts at the plasma membrane-cell wall interface. KOR mRNA was found in all organs examined, and in the developing dark-grown hypocotyl, mRNA levels were correlated with rapid cell elongation. Among plant growth factors involved in the control of hypocotyl elongation (auxin, gibberellins and ethylene) none significantly influenced KOR-mRNA levels. However, reduced KOR-mRNA levels were observed in det2, a mutant deficient for brassinosteroids. Although the in vivo substrate remains to be determined, the mutant phenotype is consistent with a central role for KOR in the assembly of the cellulose-hemicellulose network in the expanding cell wall.

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