• Arabidopsis thaliana;
  • cell elongation;
  • cell wall;
  • cellulose;
  • Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) microspectroscopy;
  • hypocotyl;
  • pectin de-methylesterification;
  • transcriptome


  • We focused on a developmentally regulated growth acceleration in the dark-grown Arabidopsis hypocotyl to study the role of changes in cell wall metabolism in the control of cell elongation.
  • To this end, precise transcriptome analysis on dissected dark-grown hypocotyls, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) microspectroscopy and kinematic analysis were used.
  • Using a cellulose synthesis inhibitor, we showed that the growth acceleration marks a developmental transition during which growth becomes uncoupled from cellulose synthesis. We next investigated the cellular changes that take place during this transition. FT-IR microspectroscopy revealed significant changes in cell wall composition during, but not after, the growth acceleration. Transcriptome analysis suggested a role for cell wall remodeling, in particular pectin modification, in this growth acceleration. This was confirmed by the overexpression of a pectin methylesterase inhibitor, which caused a delay in the growth acceleration.
  • This study shows that the acceleration of cell elongation marks a developmental transition in dark-grown hypocotyl cells and supports a role for pectin de-methylesterification in the timing of this event.