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WAKL8 Regulates Arabidopsis Stem Secondary Wall Development

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Wall-associated kinases/kinase-likes (WAKs/WAKLs) are plant cell surface sensors. A variety of studies have revealed the important functions of WAKs/WAKLs in regulating cell expansion and defense in cells with primary cell walls. Less is known about their roles during the development of the secondary cell walls (SCWs) that are present in xylem vessel (XV) and interfascicular fiber (IF) cells. In this study, we used RNA-seq data to screen Arabidopsis thaliana WAKs/WAKLs members that may be involved in SCW development and identified WAKL8 as a candidate. We obtained T-DNA insertion mutants wakl8-1 (inserted at the promoter region) and wakl8-2 (inserted at the first exon) and compared the phenotypes to wild-type (WT) plants. Decreased WAKL8 transcript levels in stems were found in the wakl8-2 mutant plants, and the phenotypes observed included reduced stem length and thinner walls in XV and IFs compared with those in the WT plants. Cell wall analysis showed no significant changes in the crystalline cellulose or lignin content in mutant stems compared with those in the WT. We found that WAKL8 had alternative spliced versions predicted to have only extracellular regions, which may interfere with the function of the full-length version of WAKL8. Our results suggest WAKL8 can regulate SCW thickening in Arabidopsis stems.

Funding

This work was supported by a grant from the Australia Research Council to the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls (CE1101007) to AB and KLJ. KLJ was supported by a La Trobe Research Focus Area grant 2000004372. AB and KLJ would like to acknowledge a start-up grant from La Trobe University and Zhejiang A&F University for the Sino-Australia Plant CellWall Research Centre.

History

Publication Date

2022-09-02

Journal

Plants

Volume

11

Issue

17

Article Number

2297

Pagination

13p.

Publisher

Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)

ISSN

2223-7747

Rights Statement

© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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