Cellulose synthesis complexes are homo-oligomeric and hetero-oligomeric in Physcomitrium patens

Xingxing Li, Arielle M. Chaves, Dianka C.T. Dees, Nasim Mansoori, Kai Yuan, Tori L. Speicher, Joanna H. Norris, Ian S. Wallace, Luisa M. Trindade, Alison W. Roberts*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The common ancestor of seed plants and mosses contained homo-oligomeric cellulose synthesis complexes (CSCs) composed of identical subunits encoded by a single CELLULOSE SYNTHASE (CESA) gene. Seed plants use different CESA isoforms for primary and secondary cell wall deposition. Both primary and secondary CESAs form hetero-oligomeric CSCs that assemble and function in planta only when all the required isoforms are present. The moss Physcomitrium (Physcomitrella) patens has seven CESA genes that can be grouped into two functionally and phylogenetically distinct classes. Previously, we showed that PpCESA3 and/or PpCESA8 (class A) together with PpCESA6 and/or PpCESA7 (class B) form obligate hetero-oligomeric complexes required for normal secondary cell wall deposition. Here, we show that gametophore morphogenesis requires a member of class A, PpCESA5, and is sustained in the absence of other PpCESA isoforms. PpCESA5 also differs from the other class A PpCESAs as it is able to self-interact and does not co-immunoprecipitate with other PpCESA isoforms. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that homo-oligomeric CSCs containing only PpCESA5 subunits synthesize cellulose required for gametophore morphogenesis. Analysis of mutant phenotypes also revealed that, like secondary cell wall deposition, normal protonemal tip growth requires class B isoforms (PpCESA4 or PpCESA10), along with a class A partner (PpCESA3, PpCESA5, or PpCESA8). Thus, P. patens contains both homo-oligomeric and hetero-oligomeric CSCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2115-2130
JournalPlant Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


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