Cellulose synthesis is required for deposition of reticulate wall ingrowths in transfer cells

Mark J. Talbot, Geoffrey O. Wasteneys, Christina E. Offler, David W. McCurdy*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    Despite the recognized physiological importance of transfer cells, little is known about how these specialized cells achieve localized deposition of cell wall material, leading to amplification of plasma membrane surface area and enhanced membrane transport capacity. This study establishes that cellulose synthesis is a key early factor in the construction of 'reticulate' wall ingrowths, an elaborate but common form of localized wall deposition characteristic of most transfer cells. Using field emission scanning electron microscopy, wall ingrowths were first visible in epidermal transfer cells of Faba bean cotyledons as raised 'patches' of disorganized and tangled cellulosic material, and, from these structures, ingrowths emerged via further deposition of wall material. The cellulose biosynthesis inhibitors 2,6-dichlorobenzonitrile and isoxaben both caused dramatic reductions in the number of cells depositing wall ingrowths, altered wall ingrowth morphology and visibly disrupted microfibril structure. The restriction of cellulose deposition to discrete patches suggests a novel mechanism for cellulose synthesis in this circumstance. Overall, these results implicate a central role for cellulose synthesis in reticulate wall ingrowth morphology, especially at the initial stage of ingrowth formation, possibly by providing a template for the self-assembly of wall polymers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)147-158
    Number of pages12
    JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


    Dive into the research topics of 'Cellulose synthesis is required for deposition of reticulate wall ingrowths in transfer cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this