An Arabidopsis gene regulatory network for secondary cell wall synthesis

Nature. 2015 Jan 29;517(7536):571-5. doi: 10.1038/nature14099. Epub 2014 Dec 24.


The plant cell wall is an important factor for determining cell shape, function and response to the environment. Secondary cell walls, such as those found in xylem, are composed of cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin and account for the bulk of plant biomass. The coordination between transcriptional regulation of synthesis for each polymer is complex and vital to cell function. A regulatory hierarchy of developmental switches has been proposed, although the full complement of regulators remains unknown. Here we present a protein-DNA network between Arabidopsis thaliana transcription factors and secondary cell wall metabolic genes with gene expression regulated by a series of feed-forward loops. This model allowed us to develop and validate new hypotheses about secondary wall gene regulation under abiotic stress. Distinct stresses are able to perturb targeted genes to potentially promote functional adaptation. These interactions will serve as a foundation for understanding the regulation of a complex, integral plant component.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Wall / metabolism*
  • DNA, Plant / genetics
  • DNA, Plant / metabolism
  • E2F Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Feedback
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / genetics*
  • Gene Regulatory Networks / genetics*
  • Iron Deficiencies
  • Organ Specificity
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Salinity
  • Time Factors
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Xylem / genetics
  • Xylem / growth & development
  • Xylem / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA, Plant
  • E2F Transcription Factors
  • E2FC protein, Arabidopsis
  • Transcription Factors
  • VND7 protein, Arabidopsis