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Keywords:

  • cell wall lignification;
  • lignin;
  • microarray;
  • secondary growth;
  • upright rosette

Abstract

Plant secondary growth is of tremendous importance, not only for plant growth and development but also for economic usefulness. Secondary tissues such as xylem and phloem are the conducting tissues in plant vascular systems, essentially for water and nutrient transport, respectively. On the other hand, products of plant secondary growth are important raw materials and renewable sources of energy. Although advances have been recently made towards describing molecular mechanisms that regulate secondary growth, the genetic control for this process is not yet fully understood. Secondary cell wall formation in plants shares some common mechanisms with other plant secondary growth processes. Thus, studies on the secondary cell wall formation using Arabidopsis may help to understand the regulatory mechanisms for plant secondary growth. We previously reported phenotypic characterizations of an Arabidopsis semi-dominant mutant, upright rosette (uro), which is defective in secondary cell wall growth and has an unusually soft stem. Here, we show that lignification in the secondary cell wall in uro is aberrant by analyzing hypocotyl and stem. We also show genome-wide expression profiles of uro seedlings, using the Affymetrix GeneChip that contains approximately 24 000 Arabidopsis genes. Genes identified with altered expression levels include those that function in plant hormone biosynthesis and signaling, cell division and plant secondary tissue growth. These results provide useful information for further characterizations of the regulatory network in plant secondary cell wall formation.