Distinct cell wall architectures in seed endosperms in representatives of the brassicaceae and solanaceae

K.J.D. Lee, S.J.W. Dekkers, T. Steinbercher, C.T. Walsh, T. Bacic, L. Bentsink, G. Leubner-Metzger, J.P. Knox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


In some species, a crucial role has been demonstrated for the seed endosperm during germination. The endosperm has been shown to integrate environmental cues with hormonal networks that underpin dormancy and seed germination, a process that involves the action of cell wall remodeling enzymes (CWREs). Here, we examine the cell wall architectures of the endosperms of two related Brassicaceae, Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and the close relative Lepidium (Lepidium sativum), and that of the Solanaceous species, tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum). The Brassicaceae species have a similar cell wall architecture that is rich in pectic homogalacturonan, arabinan, and xyloglucan. Distinctive features of the tobacco endosperm that are absent in the Brassicaceae representatives are major tissue asymmetries in cell wall structural components that reflect the future site of radicle emergence and abundant heteromannan. Cell wall architecture of the micropylar endosperm of tobacco seeds has structural components similar to those seen in Arabidopsis and Lepidium endosperms. In situ and biomechanical analyses were used to study changes in endosperms during seed germination and suggest a role for mannan degradation in tobacco. In the case of the Brassicaceae representatives, the structurally homogeneous cell walls of the endosperm can be acted on by spatially regulated CWRE expression. Genetic manipulations of cell wall components present in the Arabidopsis seed endosperm demonstrate the impact of cell wall architectural changes on germination kinetics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1551-1566
JournalPlant Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • cellulose synthase-like
  • hydroxyproline-rich glycoprotein
  • arabidopsis-thaliana
  • abscisic-acid
  • lepidium-sativum
  • micropylar endosperm
  • monoclonal-antibody
  • elongation growth
  • hydroxyl radicals
  • mannanase activity

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