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Review: More than sweet: New insights into the biology of phloem parenchyma transfer cells in Arabidopsis

Wei, X-Y, Collings, D.A. and McCurdy, D.W. (2021) Review: More than sweet: New insights into the biology of phloem parenchyma transfer cells in Arabidopsis. Plant Science, 310 . Art. 110990.

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Transfer cells (TCs) develop extensive wall ingrowths to facilitate enhanced rates of membrane transport. In Arabidopsis, TCs trans-differentiate from phloem parenchyma (PP) cells abutting the sieve element/companion cell complex in minor veins of foliar tissues and, based on anatomy and expression of SWEET sucrose uniporters, are assumed to play pivotal roles in phloem loading. While wall ingrowth deposition in PP TCs is a dynamic process responding to abiotic stresses such as high light and cold, the transcriptional control of PP TC development, including deposition of the wall ingrowths themselves, is not understood. PP TC development is a trait of vegetative phase change, potentially linking wall ingrowth deposition with floral induction. Transcript profiling by RNA-seq identified NAC056 and NAC018 (NARS1 and NARS2) as putative regulators of wall ingrowth deposition, while recent single cell RNA-seq analysis of leaf vasculature identified PP-specific expression of NAC056. Numerous membrane transporters, particularly of the UmamiT family of amino acid efflux carriers, were also identified. Collectively, these findings, and the recent discovery that wall ingrowth deposition is regulated by sucrose-dependent loading activity of these cells, provide new insights into the biology of PP TCs and their importance to phloem loading in Arabidopsis, establishing these cells as a key transport hub for phloem loading.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Harry Butler Institute
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2021 Elsevier B.V.
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