• cell wall;
  • polymer;
  • antibody;
  • epitope;
  • Arabidopsis;
  • primary stem


The Arabidopsis inflorescence stem undergoes rapid directional growth, requiring massive axial cell-wall extension in all its tissues, but, at maturity, these tissues are composed of cell types that exhibit markedly different cell-wall structures. It is not clear whether the cell-wall compositions of these cell types diverge rapidly following axial growth cessation, or whether compositional divergence occurs at earlier stages in differentiation, despite the common requirement for cell-wall extensibility. To examine this question, seven cell types were assayed for the abundance and distribution of 18 major cell-wall glycan classes at three developmental stages along the developing inflorescence stem, using a high-throughput immunolabelling strategy. These stages represent a phase of juvenile growth, a phase displaying the maximum rate of stem extension, and a phase in which extension growth is ceasing. The immunolabelling patterns detected demonstrate that the cell-wall composition of most stem tissues undergoes pronounced changes both during and after rapid extension growth. Hierarchical clustering of the immunolabelling signals identified cell-specific binding patterns for some antibodies, including a sub-group of arabinogalactan side chain-directed antibodies whose epitope targets are specifically associated with the inter-fascicular fibre region during the rapid cell expansion phase. The data reveal dynamic, cell type-specific changes in cell-wall chemistry across diverse cell types during cell-wall expansion and maturation in the Arabidopsis inflorescence stem, and highlight the paradox between this structural diversity and the uniform anisotropic cell expansion taking place across all tissues during stem growth.