Journal Article

Phloem transdifferentiation from immature xylem cells during bark regeneration after girdling in <i>Eucommia ulmoides</i> Oliv

Yu Pang, Jing Zhang, Jing Cao, Shen-Yi Yin, Xin-Qiang He and Ke-Ming Cui

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 59, issue 6, pages 1341-1351
Published in print April 2008 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online March 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/ern041
Phloem transdifferentiation from immature xylem cells during bark regeneration after girdling in Eucommia ulmoides Oliv

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Eucommia ulmoides Oliv. (Eucommiaceae), a traditional Chinese medicinal plant, was used to study phloem cell differentiation during bark regeneration after girdling on a large scale. Here it is shown that new sieve elements (SEs) appeared in the regenerated tissues before the formation of wound cambium during bark regeneration after girdling, and they could originate from the transdifferentiation of immature/differentiating axial xylem cells left on the trunk. Assays of water-cultured twigs revealed that girdling blocked sucrose transport until the formation of new SEs, and the regeneration of the functional SEs was not dependent on the substance provided by the axis system outside the girdled areas, while exogenous indole acetic acid (IAA) applied on the wound surface accelerated SE differentiation. The experiments suggest that the immature xylem cells can transdifferentiate into phloem cells under certain conditions, which means xylem and phloem cells might share some identical features at the beginning of their differentiation pathway. This study also showed that the bark regeneration system could provide a novel method for studying xylem and phloem cell differentiation.

Keywords: Bark regeneration; Eucommia ulmoides Oliv.; immature xylem cells; sieve elements; transdifferentiation

Journal Article.  4706 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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