Developmental and Tissue-Specific Structural Alterations of the Cell-Wall Polysaccharides of Arabidopsis thaliana Roots

Plant Physiol. 1996 Apr;110(4):1413-1429. doi: 10.1104/pp.110.4.1413.


The plant cell wall is a dynamic structure that plays important roles in growth and development and in the interactions of plants with their environment and other organisms. We have used monoclonal antibodies that recognize different carbohydrate epitopes present in plant cell-wall polysaccharides to locate these epitopes in roots of developing Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings. An epitope in the pectic polysaccharide rhamnogalacturonan I is observed in the walls of epidermal and cortical cells in mature parts of the root. This epitope is inserted into the walls in a developmentally regulated manner. Initially, the epitope is observed in atrichoblasts and later appears in trichoblasts and simultaneously in cortical cells. A terminal [alpha]-fucosyl-containing epitope is present in almost all of the cell walls in the root. An arabinosylated (1->6)-[beta]-galactan epitope is also found in all of the cell walls of the root with the exception of lateral root-cap cell walls. It is striking that these three polysaccharide epitopes are not uniformly distributed (or accessible) within the walls of a given cell, nor are these epitopes distributed equally across the two walls laid down by adjacent cells. Our results further suggest that the biosynthesis and differentiation of primary cell walls in plants are precisely regulated in a temporal, spatial, and developmental manner.