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Plant Cell Physiol. 2017 Jan 1;58(1):106-119. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcw183.

Exogenous Cellulase Switches Cell Interdigitation to Cell Elongation in an RIC1-dependent Manner in Arabidopsis thaliana Cotyledon Pavement Cells.

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Department of Integrated Biosciences, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan.
Anatomy and Cell Biology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.
Research and Development Division, LPixel Inc., Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Mathematical and Life Sciences, Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima, Hiroshima, Japan.


Pavement cells in cotyledons and true leaves exhibit a jigsaw puzzle-like morphology in most dicotyledonous plants. Among the molecular mechanisms mediating cell morphogenesis, two antagonistic Rho-like GTPases regulate local cell outgrowth via cytoskeletal rearrangements. Analyses of several cell wall-related mutants suggest the importance of cell wall mechanics in the formation of interdigitated patterns. However, how these factors are integrated is unknown. In this study, we observed that the application of exogenous cellulase to hydroponically grown Arabidopsis thaliana cotyledons switched the interdigitation of pavement cells to the production of smoothly elongated cells. The cellulase-induced inhibition of cell interdigitation was not observed in a RIC1 knockout mutant. This gene encodes a Rho-like GTPase-interacting protein important for localized cell growth suppression via microtubule bundling on concave cell interfaces. Additionally, to characterize pavement cell morphologies, we developed a mathematical model that considers the balance between cell and cell wall growth, restricted global cell growth orientation, and regulation of local cell outgrowth mediated by a Rho-like GTPase-cytoskeleton system. Our computational simulations fully support our experimental observations, and suggest that interdigitated patterns form because of mechanical buckling in the absence of Rho-like GTPase-dependent regulation of local cell outgrowth. Our model clarifies the cell wall mechanics influencing pavement cell morphogenesis.


Cell wall; Cellulose; Image analysis; Mathematical model; Microtubules; Pavement cell

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