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Genes 2017, 8(12), 363;

Molecular Investigation of the Stem Snap Point in Textile Hemp

Environmental Research and Innovation Department, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, 5 avenue des Hauts-Fourneaux, L-4362 Esch/Alzette, Luxembourg
Groupe de Recherche en Physiologie Végétale, Earth and Life Institute-Agronomy, Université catholique de Louvain, 5 (Bte 7.07.13) Place Croix du Sud, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Fibre crops are important natural resources, as they sustainably provide bast fibres, an economically-valuable raw material used in the textile and biocomposite sectors. Among fibre crops, textile hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is appreciated for its long and strong gelatinous bast fibres. The stem of fibre crops is a useful system for cell wall-oriented studies, because it shows a strong tissue polarity with a lignified inner core and a cellulosic hypolignified cortex, as well as a basipetal lignification gradient. Along the stem axis of fibre crops, a specific region, denoted snap point, marks the transition from elongation (above it) to fibre thickening (below it). After empirically determining the snap point by tilting the plant, we divided the stem segment containing it into three non-overlapping consecutive regions measuring 1 cm each, and carried out targeted RT-qPCR on cell wall-related genes separately, in outer and inner tissues. Different gene clusters can be observed, two of which are the major gene groups, i.e., one group with members expressed at higher levels in the inner tissues, and one group whose genes are more expressed in the cortex. The present results provide a molecular validation that the snap point is characterised by a gradient of events associated with the shift from fibre elongation to thickening. View Full-Text
Keywords: bast fibres; cell wall; gene expression; hemp; snap point bast fibres; cell wall; gene expression; hemp; snap point

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Behr, M.; Legay, S.; Hausman, J.-F.; Lutts, S.; Guerriero, G. Molecular Investigation of the Stem Snap Point in Textile Hemp. Genes 2017, 8, 363.

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