Cellulose synthase stoichiometry in aspen differs from Arabidopsis and Norway spruce
Plant Physiology 2018, 177 (3):1096-1107

Zhang X, Dominguez PG, Kumar M, Bygdell J, Miroshnichenko S, Sundberg B, Wingsle G, Niittyla T

Cellulose is synthesised at the plasma membrane by cellulose synthase complexes (CSCs) containing cellulose synthases (CESAs). Genetic analysis and CESA isoform quantification indicate that cellulose in the secondary cell walls of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) is synthesised by isoforms CESA4, CESA7 and CESA8 in equimolar amounts. Here, we used quantitative proteomics to investigate whether the CSC model based on Arabidopsis secondary cell wall CESA stoichiometry can be applied to the angiosperm tree aspen (Populus tremula) and the gymnosperm tree Norway spruce (Picea abies). In the developing xylem of aspen the secondary cell wall CESA stoichiometry was 3:2:1 for PtCESA8a/b : PtCESA4 : PtCESA7a/b, while in Norway spruce the stoichiometry was 1:1:1 as previously observed in Arabidopsis. Furthermore, in aspen tension wood the secondary cell wall CESA stoichiometry changed to 8:3:1 for PtCESA8a/b : PtCESA4 : PtCESA7a/b. PtCESA8b represented 73% of the total secondary cell wall CESA pool, and quantitative PCR analysis of CESA transcripts in cryo-sectioned tension wood revealed increased PtCESA8b expression during formation of the cellulose-enriched gelatinous layer while the transcripts of PtCESA4, PtCESA7a/b and PtCESA8a decreased. A wide-angle X-ray scattering analysis showed that the shift in CESA stoichiometry in tension wood coincided with an increase in crystalline cellulose microfibril diameter suggesting that the CSC CESA composition influences microfibril properties. The aspen CESA stoichiometry results raise the possibility of alternative CSC models, and suggest that homomeric PtCESA8b complexes are responsible for cellulose biosynthesis in the gelatinous layer in tension wood.

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