Gene expression in tension wood and bast fibres

Research paper by N. Hobson, M. J. Roach, M. K. Deyholos

Indexed on: 09 May '10Published on: 09 May '10Published in: Russian Journal of Plant Physiology


Tension wood is produced in the xylem of some angiosperm trees, such as poplar (Populus spp.), whereas bast fibers are phloem-derived cells best known from annual crops, such as flax (Linum usitatissimum L.). Despite their different origins, secondary walls of both tension wood and bast fibers share distinctive properties, including an abundance of axially oriented, crystalline cellulose produced in a distinctive gelatinous-type layer. Because of these unique properties, tension wood and phloem fibers have separately been the subject of at least nine previously published gene or protein profiling studies. Here we review these experiments with a focus on those genes, whose expression distinguishes both tension wood and bast fibers from the more predominant types of xylem found elsewhere in the stem. Notable among these is an evolutionarily distinctive group of fasciclin-like arabinogalactan proteins (FLA) and a putative rhamnogalacturonan lyase.