The root epidermal bulger 1 ( reb1) mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. is characterized by a reduced elongation rate of the primary root and by the bulging of many, but not all, root epidermal cells. In this study, we investigated cell wall structure of root epidermal cells in reb1-1 by using serial sectioning, and light and electron microscopy in combination with immuno-cytochemistry and polysaccharide staining. We found that: (i) Cell bulging in the mutant was initiated in the zone of elongation of the root, and occurred exclusively in trichoblasts. (ii) reb1-1 and wild-type root cells stained identically with anti-pectin antibodies, such as JIM5. In contrast, the anti-arabinogalactan-protein antibodies, JIM14 and LM2, stained all epidermal cells in the wild type and trichoblasts preferentially, but in reb1-1 they stained the atrichoblasts only. (iii) Compared to the wild type, mutant trichoblasts had a thinner outer epidermal cell wall, which presented abnormal periodic acid-thio carbohydrazide silver proteinate (PATAg) staining. In addition, we investigated the organization of cortical microtubules in a reb1-1 mutant line expressing a green-fluorescent protein fused to a microtubule-binding domain from human microtubule-associated protein 4. Microtubules in the swollen trichoblasts of reb1-1 were either disordered or absent entirely. Together our findings indicate that the reb1-1 mutation results in an abnormal trichoblast cell wall, and suggest that cell surface arabinogalactan-proteins are required for anisotropic expansion and for orienting cortical microtubules.