Special Issue "The Plant Cuticle"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2017).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. David A Bird
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, Mount Royal University, Mount Royal University, 4825 Mt Royal Gate SW, Calgary, AB T3E 6K6, Canada
Interests: cellular and molecular of plant cuticle formation; secondary metabolism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The plant cuticle is the interface between the organism and its environment. As such, it plays key roles a wide range of interactions with the environment, both abiotic and biotic. It is a hydrophobic surface, composed of both monomeric constituents, the very long-chain fatty acid derivatives known as waxes, and the complex polyester, cutin. In the last ten years, our understanding of the biosynthesis of these lipids and their assembly on the cell surface has expanded rapidly. This Special Issue of Plants will focus on recent developments in the understanding of the biology of the plant cuticle.

Dr. David Bird
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • wax biosynthesis
  • lipid trafficking
  • cutin
  • plant-insect interactions
  • cuticular wax composition

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Review

Open AccessReview
Deciphering the Evolution and Development of the Cuticle by Studying Lipid Transfer Proteins in Mosses and Liverworts
Plants 2018, 7(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants7010006 - 15 Jan 2018
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2349
Abstract
When plants conquered land, they developed specialized organs, tissues, and cells in order to survive in this new and harsh terrestrial environment. New cell polymers such as the hydrophobic lipid-based polyesters cutin, suberin, and sporopollenin were also developed for protection against water loss, [...] Read more.
When plants conquered land, they developed specialized organs, tissues, and cells in order to survive in this new and harsh terrestrial environment. New cell polymers such as the hydrophobic lipid-based polyesters cutin, suberin, and sporopollenin were also developed for protection against water loss, radiation, and other potentially harmful abiotic factors. Cutin and waxes are the main components of the cuticle, which is the waterproof layer covering the epidermis of many aerial organs of land plants. Although the in vivo functions of the group of lipid binding proteins known as lipid transfer proteins (LTPs) are still rather unclear, there is accumulating evidence suggesting a role for LTPs in the transfer and deposition of monomers required for cuticle assembly. In this review, we first present an overview of the data connecting LTPs with cuticle synthesis. Furthermore, we propose liverworts and mosses as attractive model systems for revealing the specific function and activity of LTPs in the biosynthesis and evolution of the plant cuticle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Plant Cuticle)
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Open AccessReview
Assembly of the Cutin Polyester: From Cells to Extracellular Cell Walls
Plants 2017, 6(4), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants6040057 - 18 Nov 2017
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3220
Abstract
Cuticular matrices covering aerial plant organs or delimiting compartments in these organs are composed of an insoluble hydrophobic polymer of high molecular mass, i.e., cutin, that encompass some cell wall polysaccharides and is filled by waxes. Cutin is a polyester of hydroxy and-or [...] Read more.
Cuticular matrices covering aerial plant organs or delimiting compartments in these organs are composed of an insoluble hydrophobic polymer of high molecular mass, i.e., cutin, that encompass some cell wall polysaccharides and is filled by waxes. Cutin is a polyester of hydroxy and-or epoxy fatty acids including a low amount of glycerol. Screening of Arabidopsis and more recently of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) mutants allowed the delineation of the metabolic pathway involved in the formation of cutin monomers, as well as their translocation in the apoplast. Furthermore, these studies identified an extracellular enzyme involved in the polymerization of these monomers, i.e., cutin synthase 1 (CUS1), an acyl transferase of the GDSL lipase protein family. By comparing the structure of tomato fruit cutins from wild type and down-regulated CUS1 mutants, as well as with the CUS1-catalyzed formation of oligomers in vitro, hypothetical models can be elaborated on the polymerization of cutins. The polymorphism of the GDSL-lipase family raises a number of questions concerning the function of the different isoforms in relation with the formation of a composite material, the cuticle, containing entangled hydrophilic and hydrophobic polymers, i.e., polysaccharides and cutin, and plasticizers, i.e., waxes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Plant Cuticle)
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Open AccessReview
The Polyketide Components of Waxes and the Cer-cqu Gene Cluster Encoding a Novel Polyketide Synthase, the β-Diketone Synthase, DKS
Plants 2017, 6(3), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants6030028 - 10 Jul 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2003
Abstract
The primary function of the outermost, lipophilic layer of plant aerial surfaces, called the cuticle, is preventing non-stomatal water loss. Its exterior surface is often decorated with wax crystals, imparting a blue–grey color. Identification of the barley Cer-c, -q and -u genes [...] Read more.
The primary function of the outermost, lipophilic layer of plant aerial surfaces, called the cuticle, is preventing non-stomatal water loss. Its exterior surface is often decorated with wax crystals, imparting a blue–grey color. Identification of the barley Cer-c, -q and -u genes forming the 101 kb Cer-cqu gene cluster encoding a novel polyketide synthase—the β-diketone synthase (DKS), a lipase/carboxyl transferase, and a P450 hydroxylase, respectively, establishes a new, major pathway for the synthesis of plant waxes. The major product is a β-diketone (14,16-hentriacontane) aliphatic that forms long, thin crystalline tubes. A pathway branch leads to the formation of esterified alkan-2-ols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Plant Cuticle)
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Open AccessReview
Cuticular Waxes of Arabidopsis thaliana Shoots: Cell-Type-Specific Composition and Biosynthesis
Plants 2017, 6(3), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants6030027 - 07 Jul 2017
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3020
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Plant Cuticle)
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Open AccessReview
Occurrence and Biosynthesis of Alkyl Hydroxycinnamates in Plant Lipid Barriers
Plants 2017, 6(3), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants6030025 - 30 Jun 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3078
Abstract
The plant lipid barriers cuticle and suberin represent one of the largest biological interfaces on the planet. They are comprised of an insoluble polymeric domain with associated organic solvent-soluble waxes. Suberin-associated and plant cuticular waxes contain mixtures of aliphatic components that may include [...] Read more.
The plant lipid barriers cuticle and suberin represent one of the largest biological interfaces on the planet. They are comprised of an insoluble polymeric domain with associated organic solvent-soluble waxes. Suberin-associated and plant cuticular waxes contain mixtures of aliphatic components that may include alkyl hydroxycinnamates (AHCs). The canonical alkyl hydroxycinnamates are comprised of phenylpropanoids, typically coumaric, ferulic, or caffeic acids, esterified with long chain to very long chain fatty alcohols. However, many related structures are also present in the plant kingdom. Although their functions remain elusive, much progress has been made on understanding the distribution, biosynthesis, and deposition of AHCs. Herein a summary of the current state of knowledge on plant AHCs is provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Plant Cuticle)
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Open AccessReview
The Unique Role of the ECERIFERUM2-LIKE Clade of the BAHD Acyltransferase Superfamily in Cuticular Wax Metabolism
Plants 2017, 6(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants6020023 - 13 Jun 2017
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2938
Abstract
The elongation of very-long-chain fatty acids is a conserved process used for the production of many metabolites, including plant cuticular waxes. The elongation of precursors of the most abundant cuticular wax components of some plants, however, is unique in requiring ECERIFERUM2-LIKE (CER2-LIKE) proteins. [...] Read more.
The elongation of very-long-chain fatty acids is a conserved process used for the production of many metabolites, including plant cuticular waxes. The elongation of precursors of the most abundant cuticular wax components of some plants, however, is unique in requiring ECERIFERUM2-LIKE (CER2-LIKE) proteins. CER2-LIKEs are a clade within the BAHD superfamily of acyltransferases. They are known to be required for cuticular wax production in both Arabidopsis and maize based on mutant studies. Heterologous expression of Arabidopsis and rice CER2-LIKEs in Saccharomyces cerevisiae has demonstrated that they modify the chain-length specificity of elongation when paired with particular condensing enzymes. Despite sequence homology, CER2-LIKEs are distinct from the BAHD superfamily in that they do not appear to use acyl transfer activity to fulfill their biological function. Here, we review the discovery and characterization of CER2-LIKEs, propose several models to explain their function, and explore the importance of CER2-LIKE proteins for the evolution of plant cuticles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Plant Cuticle)
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