• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of plntcellLink to Publisher's site
Plant Cell. May 1997; 9(5): 689–701.
PMCID: PMC156949

Collapsed xylem phenotype of Arabidopsis identifies mutants deficient in cellulose deposition in the secondary cell wall.


Recessive mutations at three loci cause the collapse of mature xylem cells in inflorescence stems of Arabidopsis. These irregular xylem (irx) mutations were identified by screening plants from a mutagenized population by microscopic examination of stem sections. The xylem cell defect was associated with an up to eightfold reduction in the total amount of cellulose in mature inflorescence stems. The amounts of cell wall-associated phenolics and polysaccharides were unaffected by the mutations. Examination of the cell walls by using electron microscopy demonstrated that the decreases in cellulose content of irx lines resulted in an alteration of the spatial organization of cell wall material. This suggests that a normal pattern of cellulose deposition may be required for assembly of lignin or polysaccharides. The reduced cellulose content of the stems also resulted in a decrease in stiffness of the stem material. This is consistent with the irregular xylem phenotype and suggests that the walls of irx plants are not resistant to compressive forces. Because lignin was implicated previously as a major factor in resistance to compressive forces, these results suggest either that cellulose has a direct role in providing resistance to compressive forces or that it is required for the development of normal lignin structure. The irx plants had a slight reduction in growth rate and stature but were otherwise normal in appearance. The mutations should be useful in facilitating the identification of factors that control the synthesis and deposition of cellulose and other cell wall components.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (2.8M).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Amrhein N, Frank G, Lemm G, Luhmann HB. Inhibition of lignin formation by L-alpha-aminooxy-beta-phenylpropionic acid, an inhibitor of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase. Eur J Cell Biol. 1983 Jan;29(2):139–144. [PubMed]
  • Atalla RH, Agarwal UP. Raman microprobe evidence for lignin orientation in the cell walls of native woody tissue. Science. 1985 Feb 8;227(4687):636–638. [PubMed]
  • Bell CJ, Ecker JR. Assignment of 30 microsatellite loci to the linkage map of Arabidopsis. Genomics. 1994 Jan 1;19(1):137–144. [PubMed]
  • Carpita NC, Gibeaut DM. Structural models of primary cell walls in flowering plants: consistency of molecular structure with the physical properties of the walls during growth. Plant J. 1993 Jan;3(1):1–30. [PubMed]
  • Delmer DP, Amor Y. Cellulose biosynthesis. Plant Cell. 1995 Jul;7(7):987–1000. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Houtman CJ, Atalla RH. Cellulose-Lignin Interactions (A Computational Study). Plant Physiol. 1995 Mar;107(3):977–984. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Kokubo A, Kuraishi S, Sakurai N. Culm strength of barley : correlation among maximum bending stress, cell wall dimensions, and cellulose content. Plant Physiol. 1989 Nov;91(3):876–882. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Kokubo A, Sakurai N, Kuraishi S, Takeda K. Culm Brittleness of Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) Mutants Is Caused by Smaller Number of Cellulose Molecules in Cell Wall. Plant Physiol. 1991 Oct;97(2):509–514. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lander ES, Green P, Abrahamson J, Barlow A, Daly MJ, Lincoln SE, Newberg LA, Newburg L. MAPMAKER: an interactive computer package for constructing primary genetic linkage maps of experimental and natural populations. Genomics. 1987 Oct;1(2):174–181. [PubMed]
  • Lewis NG, Yamamoto E. Lignin: occurrence, biogenesis and biodegradation. Annu Rev Plant Physiol Plant Mol Biol. 1990;41:455–496. [PubMed]
  • Morrison IM. A semi-micro method for the determination of lignin and its use in predicting the digestibility of forage crops. J Sci Food Agric. 1972 Apr;23(4):455–463. [PubMed]
  • Pear JR, Kawagoe Y, Schreckengost WE, Delmer DP, Stalker DM. Higher plants contain homologs of the bacterial celA genes encoding the catalytic subunit of cellulose synthase. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Oct 29;93(22):12637–12642. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Reiter WD, Chapple CC, Somerville CR. Altered growth and cell walls in a fucose-deficient mutant of Arabidopsis. Science. 1993 Aug 20;261(5124):1032–1035. [PubMed]
  • Ross P, Mayer R, Benziman M. Cellulose biosynthesis and function in bacteria. Microbiol Rev. 1991 Mar;55(1):35–58. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Somerville S, Somerville C. Arabidopsis at 7: still growing like a weed. Plant Cell. 1996 Nov;8(11):1917–1933. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Updegraff DM. Semimicro determination of cellulose in biological materials. Anal Biochem. 1969 Dec;32(3):420–424. [PubMed]
  • Whetten R, Sederoff R. Lignin Biosynthesis. Plant Cell. 1995 Jul;7(7):1001–1013. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Wong HC, Fear AL, Calhoon RD, Eichinger GH, Mayer R, Amikam D, Benziman M, Gelfand DH, Meade JH, Emerick AW, et al. Genetic organization of the cellulose synthase operon in Acetobacter xylinum. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 Oct;87(20):8130–8134. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Zablackis E, Huang J, Müller B, Darvill AG, Albersheim P. Characterization of the cell-wall polysaccharides of Arabidopsis thaliana leaves. Plant Physiol. 1995 Apr;107(4):1129–1138. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from The Plant Cell are provided here courtesy of American Society of Plant Biologists


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • Gene
    Gene links
  • GEO Profiles
    GEO Profiles
    Related GEO records
  • HomoloGene
    HomoloGene links
  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • Pathways + GO
    Pathways + GO
    Pathways, annotations and biological systems (BioSystems) that cite the current article.
  • Protein
    Published protein sequences
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles
  • Substance
    PubChem Substance links
  • Taxonomy
    Related taxonomy entry
  • Taxonomy Tree
    Taxonomy Tree

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...