Bourquin V, Nishikubo N, Abe H, Brumer H, Denman S, Eklund M, Christiernin M, Teeri TT, Sundberg B, Mellerowicz EJ
Xyloglucan endotransglycosylases have a function during the formation of secondary cell walls of vascular tissues
Plant Cell: 2002 14:3073-3088
Xyloglucan transglycosylases (XETs) have been implicated in many aspects of cell wall biosynthesis, but their function in vascular tissues, in general, and in the formation of secondary walls, in particular, is less well understood. Using an in situ XET activity assay in poplar stems, we have demonstrated XET activity in xylem and phloem fibers at the stage of secondary wall formation. Immunolocalization of fucosylated xylogucan with CCRC-M1 antibodies showed that levels of this species increased at the border between the primary and secondary wall layers at the time of secondary wall deposition. Furthermore, one of the most abundant XET isoforms in secondary vascular tissues (PttXET16A) was cloned and immunolocalized to fibers at the stage of secondary wall formation. Together, these data strongly suggest that XET has a previously unreported role in restructuring primary walls at the time when secondary wall layers are deposited, probably creating and reinforcing the connections between the primary and secondary wall layers. We also observed that xylogucan is incorporated at a high level in the inner layer of nacreous walls of mature sieve tube elements.