2020 Volume 37 Issue 4 Pages 465-469
Xylem vessels, which conduct water from roots to aboveground tissues in vascular plants, are stiffened by secondary cell walls (SCWs). Protoxylem vessel cells deposit cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin as SCW components in helical and/or annular patterns. The mechanisms underlying SCW patterning in the protoxylem vessel cells are not fully understood, although VASCULAR-RERATED NAC-DOMAIN 7 (VND7) has been identified as a master transcription factor in protoxylem vessel cell differentiation in Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, we investigated deposition patterns of SCWs throughout the tissues of Arabidopsis seedlings using an inducible transdifferentiation system that utilizes a chimeric protein in which VND7 is fused with the activation domain of VP16 and the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) (VND7-VP16-GR). In slender- and cylinder-shaped cells, such as petiole and hypocotyl cells, SCWs that were ectopically induced by the VND7-VP16-GR system were deposited linearly, resulting in helical and annular patterns similar to the endogenous patterns in protoxylem vessel cells. By contrast, concentrated linear SCW deposition was associated with unevenness on the surface of pavement cells in cotyledon leaf blades, suggesting the involvement of cell morphology in SCW patterning. When we exposed the seedlings to hypertonic conditions that induced plasmolysis, we observed aberrant deposition patterns in SCW formation. Because the turgor pressure becomes zero at the point when cells reach limiting plasmolysis, this result implies that proper turgor pressure is required for normal SCW patterning. Taken together, our results suggest that the deposition pattern of SCWs is affected by mechanical stimuli that are related to cell morphogenesis and turgor pressure.