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Planta. 2019 Feb 8. doi: 10.1007/s00425-019-03107-4. [Epub ahead of print]

Metabolism of polysaccharides in dynamic middle lamellae during cotton fibre development.

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Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Copenhagen University, Frederiksberg, Denmark.
Bayer CropScience NV, Innovation Center, Technologiepark 38, 9052, Ghent, Belgium.
Centre for Plant Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK.
School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK.
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Copenhagen University, Frederiksberg, Denmark.


Evidence is presented that cotton fibre adhesion and middle lamella formation are preceded by cutin dilution and accompanied by rhamnogalacturonan-I metabolism. Cotton fibres are single cell structures that early in development adhere to one another via the cotton fibre middle lamella (CFML) to form a tissue-like structure. The CFML is disassembled around the time of initial secondary wall deposition, leading to fibre detachment. Observations of CFML in the light microscope have suggested that the development of the middle lamella is accompanied by substantial cell-wall metabolism, but it has remained an open question as to which processes mediate adherence and which lead to detachment. The mechanism of adherence and detachment were investigated here using glyco-microarrays probed with monoclonal antibodies, transcript profiling, and observations of fibre auto-digestion. The results suggest that adherence is brought about by cutin dilution, while the presence of relevant enzyme activities and the dynamics of rhamnogalacturonan-I side-chain accumulation and disappearance suggest that both attachment and detachment are accompanied by rhamnogalacturonan-I metabolism.


Arabinofuranosidase; Cuticle; Post-genital fusion; Rhamnogalacturonan-I; Xyloglucan


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