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Tissue and cell-specific transcriptomes in cotton reveal the subtleties of gene regulation underlying the diversity of plant secondary cell walls

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Genomics, July 2017
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Tissue and cell-specific transcriptomes in cotton reveal the subtleties of gene regulation underlying the diversity of plant secondary cell walls
Published in
BMC Genomics, July 2017
DOI 10.1186/s12864-017-3902-4
Pubmed ID

Colleen P. MacMillan, Hannah Birke, Aaron Chuah, Elizabeth Brill, Yukiko Tsuji, John Ralph, Elizabeth S. Dennis, Danny Llewellyn, Filomena A. Pettolino


Knowledge of plant secondary cell wall (SCW) regulation and deposition is mainly based on the Arabidopsis model of a 'typical' lignocellulosic SCW. However, SCWs in other plants can vary from this. The SCW of mature cotton seed fibres is highly cellulosic and lacks lignification whereas xylem SCWs are lignocellulosic. We used cotton as a model to study different SCWs and the expression of the genes involved in their formation via RNA deep sequencing and chemical analysis of stem and seed fibre. Transcriptome comparisons from cotton xylem and pith as well as from a developmental series of seed fibres revealed tissue-specific and developmentally regulated expression of several NAC transcription factors some of which are likely to be important as top tier regulators of SCW formation in xylem and/or seed fibre. A so far undescribed hierarchy was identified between the top tier NAC transcription factors SND1-like and NST1/2 in cotton. Key SCW MYB transcription factors, homologs of Arabidopsis MYB46/83, were practically absent in cotton stem xylem. Lack of expression of other lignin-specific MYBs in seed fibre relative to xylem could account for the lack of lignin deposition in seed fibre. Expression of a MYB103 homolog correlated with temporal expression of SCW CesAs and cellulose synthesis in seed fibres. FLAs were highly expressed and may be important structural components of seed fibre SCWs. Finally, we made the unexpected observation that cell walls in the pith of cotton stems contained lignin and had a higher S:G ratio than in xylem, despite that tissue's lacking many of the gene transcripts normally associated with lignin biosynthesis. Our study in cotton confirmed some features of the currently accepted gene regulatory cascade for 'typical' plant SCWs, but also revealed substantial differences, especially with key downstream NACs and MYBs. The lignocellulosic SCW of cotton xylem appears to be achieved differently from that in Arabidopsis. Pith cell walls in cotton stems are compositionally very different from that reported for other plant species, including Arabidopsis. The current definition of a 'typical' primary or secondary cell wall might not be applicable to all cell types in all plant species.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 8 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 24 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 24 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 10 42%
Student > Ph. D. Student 4 17%
Student > Master 3 13%
Other 1 4%
Student > Bachelor 1 4%
Other 3 13%
Unknown 2 8%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 10 42%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 6 25%
Mathematics 1 4%
Computer Science 1 4%
Materials Science 1 4%
Other 1 4%
Unknown 4 17%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 5. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 18 November 2018.
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Altmetric has tracked 15,922,017 research outputs across all sources so far. This one has received more attention than most of these and is in the 73rd percentile.
So far Altmetric has tracked 8,860 research outputs from this source. They receive a mean Attention Score of 4.3. This one has done well, scoring higher than 76% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 271,032 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 70% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 5 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than 2 of them.