Pectins are abundant in the cell walls of dicotyledonous plants, but how they interact with other wall polymers and influence wall integrity and cell growth has remained mysterious. Here, we verified that QUASIMODO2 (QUA2) is a pectin methyltransferase and determined that QUA2 is required for normal pectin biosynthesis. To gain further insight into how pectin affects wall assembly and integrity maintenance, we investigated cellulose biosynthesis, cellulose organization, cortical microtubules, and wall integrity signaling in two mutant alleles of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) QUA2, qua2 and tsd2. In both mutants, crystalline cellulose content is reduced, cellulose synthase particles move more slowly, and cellulose organization is aberrant. NMR analysis shows higher mobility of cellulose and matrix polysaccharides in the mutants. Microtubules in mutant hypocotyls have aberrant organization and depolymerize more readily upon treatment with oryzalin or external force. The expression of genes related to wall integrity, wall biosynthesis, and microtubule stability is dysregulated in both mutants. These data provide insights into how homogalacturonan is methylesterified upon its synthesis, the mechanisms by which pectin functionally interacts with cellulose, and how these interactions are translated into intracellular regulation to maintain the structural integrity of the cell wall during plant growth and development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology