hca: an Arabidopsis mutant exhibiting unusual cambial activity and altered vascular patterning

Plant J. 2005 Oct;44(2):271-89. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2005.02526.x.


By screening a T-DNA population of Arabidopsis mutants for alterations in inflorescence stem vasculature, we have isolated a mutant with a dramatic increase in vascular tissue development, characterized by a continuous ring of xylem/phloem. This phenotype is the consequence of premature and numerous cambial cell divisions in both the fascicular and interfascicular regions that result in the loss of the alternate vascular bundle/fiber organization typically observed in Arabidopsis stems. The mutant was therefore designated high cambial activity (hca). The hca mutation also resulted in pleiotropic effects including stunting and a delay in developmental events such as flowering and senescence. The physiological characterization of hca seedlings in vitro revealed an altered auxin and cytokinin response and, most strikingly, an enhanced sensitivity to cytokinin. These results were substantiated by comparative microarray analysis between hca and wild-type plants. The genetic analysis of hca indicated that the mutant phenotype was not tagged by the T-DNA and that the hca mutation segregated as a single recessive locus, mapping to the long arm of chromosome 4. We propose that hca is involved in mechanisms controlling the arrangement of vascular bundles throughout the plant by regulating the auxin-cytokinin sensitivity of vascular cambial cells. Thus, the hca mutant is a useful model for examining the genetic and hormonal control of cambial growth and differentiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / anatomy & histology*
  • Arabidopsis / cytology
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Plant / genetics
  • Cytokinins / pharmacology
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • Indoleacetic Acids / pharmacology
  • Morphogenesis
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Leaves / anatomy & histology
  • Plant Leaves / genetics
  • Plant Roots / anatomy & histology
  • Plant Roots / genetics
  • Plant Stems / anatomy & histology
  • Plant Stems / genetics
  • Seedlings / drug effects
  • Seedlings / growth & development
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation


  • ATHB-8 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Cytokinins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • T-DNA
  • Transcription Factors