UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Cuticular Waxes of Arabidopsis thaliana Shoots: Cell-Type-Specific Composition and Biosynthesis Hegebarth, Daniela; Jetter, Reinhard


It is generally assumed that all plant epidermis cells are covered with cuticles, and the distinct surface geometries of pavement cells, guard cells, and trichomes imply functional differences and possibly different wax compositions. However, experiments probing cell-type-specific wax compositions and biosynthesis have been lacking until recently. This review summarizes new evidence showing that Arabidopsis trichomes have fewer wax compound classes than pavement cells, and higher amounts of especially long-chain hydrocarbons. The biosynthesis machinery generating this characteristic surface coating is discussed. Interestingly, wax compounds with similar, long hydrocarbon chains had been identified previously in some unrelated species, not all of them bearing trichomes.

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