• XXT5;
  • xylosyltransferase;
  • xyloglucan;
  • cell wall;
  • root hair


The function of a putative xyloglucan xylosyltransferase from Arabidopsis thaliana (At1g74380; XXT5) was studied. The XXT5 gene is expressed in all plant tissues, with higher levels of expression in roots, stems and cauline leaves. A T-DNA insertion in the XXT5 gene generates a readily visible root hair phenotype (root hairs are shorter and form bubble-like extrusions at the tip), and also causes the alteration of the main root cellular morphology. Biochemical characterization of cell wall polysaccharides isolated from xxt5 mutant seedlings demonstrated decreased xyloglucan quantity and reduced glucan backbone substitution with xylosyl residues. Immunohistochemical analyses of xxt5 plants revealed a selective decrease in some xyloglucan epitopes, whereas the distribution patterns of epitopes characteristic for other cell wall polysaccharides remained undisturbed. Transformation of xxt5 plants with a 35S::HA-XXT5 construct resulted in complementation of the morphological, biochemical and immunological phenotypes, restoring xyloglucan content and composition to wild-type levels. These data provide evidence that XXT5 is a xyloglucan α-1,6-xylosyltransferase, and functions in the biosynthesis of xyloglucan.