Functional analysis of the cellulose synthase-like genes CSLD1, CSLD2, and CSLD4 in tip-growing Arabidopsis cells

Plant Physiol. 2008 Nov;148(3):1238-53. doi: 10.1104/pp.108.121939. Epub 2008 Sep 3.


A reverse genetic approach was used to investigate the functions of three members of the cellulose synthase superfamily in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), CELLULOSE SYNTHASE-LIKE D1 (CSLD1), CSLD2, and CSLD4. CSLD2 is required for normal root hair growth but has a different role from that previously described for CSLD3 (KOJAK). CSLD2 is required during a later stage of hair development than CSLD3, and CSLD2 mutants produce root hairs with a range of abnormalities, with many root hairs rupturing late in development. Remarkably, though, it was often the case that in CSLD2 mutants, tip growth would resume after rupturing of root hairs. In silico, semiquantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, and promoter-reporter construct analyses indicated that the expression of both CSLD2 and CSLD3 is elevated at reduced temperatures, and the phenotypes of mutants homozygous for insertions in these genes were partially rescued by reduced temperature growth. However, this was not the case for a double mutant homozygous for insertions in both CSLD2 and CSLD3, suggesting that there may be partial redundancy in the functions of these genes. Mutants in CSLD1 and CSLD4 had a defect in male transmission, and plants heterozygous for insertions in CSLD1 or CSLD4 were defective in their ability to produce pollen tubes, although the number and morphology of pollen grains was normal. We propose that the CSLD family of putative glycosyltransferases synthesize a polysaccharide that has a specialized structural role in the cell walls of tip-growing cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / cytology
  • Arabidopsis / enzymology*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / physiology
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure
  • DNA Primers
  • Genes, Plant
  • Germination
  • Glucosyltransferases / genetics*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Plant Roots / ultrastructure
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Subcellular Fractions / enzymology


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA Primers
  • CSLD1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • CSLD2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • CSLD4 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Glucosyltransferases
  • cellulose synthase