Cellulose assembles into helical bundles of uniform handedness in cell walls with abnormal pectin composition - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Plant Journal Year : 2023

Cellulose assembles into helical bundles of uniform handedness in cell walls with abnormal pectin composition

Abstract

SUMMARY Plant cells and organs grow into a remarkable diversity of shapes, as directed by cell walls composed primarily of polysaccharides such as cellulose and multiple structurally distinct pectins. The properties of the cell wall that allow for precise control of morphogenesis are distinct from those of the individual polysaccharide components. For example, cellulose, the primary determinant of cell morphology, is a chiral macromolecule that can self‐assemble in vitro into larger‐scale structures of consistent chirality, and yet most plant cells do not display consistent chirality in their growth. One interesting exception is the Arabidopsis thaliana rhm1 mutant, which has decreased levels of the pectin rhamnogalacturonan‐I and causes conical petal epidermal cells to grow with a left‐handed helical twist. Here, we show that in rhm1 the cellulose is bundled into large macrofibrils, unlike the evenly distributed microfibrils of the wild type. This cellulose bundling becomes increasingly severe over time, consistent with cellulose being synthesized normally and then self‐associating into macrofibrils. We also show that in the wild type, cellulose is oriented transversely, whereas in rhm1 mutants, the cellulose forms right‐handed helices that can account for the helical morphology of the petal cells. Our results indicate that when the composition of pectin is altered, cellulose can form cellular‐scale chiral structures in vivo , analogous to the helicoids formed in vitro by cellulose nano‐crystals. We propose that an important emergent property of the interplay between rhamnogalacturonan‐I and cellulose is to permit the assembly of nonbundled cellulose structures, providing plants flexibility to orient cellulose and direct morphogenesis.

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Plants genetics
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Dates and versions

hal-04531046 , version 1 (03-04-2024)

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Adam Saffer, Tobias Baskin, Amitabh Verma, Thomas Stanislas, Rudolf Oldenbourg, et al.. Cellulose assembles into helical bundles of uniform handedness in cell walls with abnormal pectin composition. Plant Journal, 2023, 116 (3), pp.855-870. ⟨10.1111/tpj.16414⟩. ⟨hal-04531046⟩
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