The hydrophobic cuticle covers the surface of the most aerial organs of land plants. The barley mutant eceriferum-zv (cer-zv), which is hypersensitive to drought, is unable to accumulate a sufficient quantity of cutin in its leaf cuticle. The mutated locus has been mapped to a 0.02 cM segment in the pericentromeric region of chromosome 4H. As a map-based cloning approach to isolate the gene was therefore considered unlikely to be feasible, a comparison was instead made between the transcriptomes of the mutant and the wild type. In conjunction with extant genomic information, on the basis of predicted functionality, only two genes were considered likely to encode a product associated with cutin formation. When eight independent cer-zv mutant alleles were resequenced with respect to the two candidate genes, it was confirmed that the gene underlying the mutation in each allele encodes a Gly-Asp-Ser-Leu (GDSL)-motif esterase/acyltransferase/lipase. The gene was transcribed in the epidermis, and its product was exclusively deposited in cell wall at the boundary of the cuticle in the leaf elongation zone, coinciding with the major site of cutin deposition. CER-ZV is speculated to function in the deposition of cutin polymer. Its homologs were found in green algae, moss, and euphyllophytes, indicating that it is highly conserved in plant kingdom.
- abiotic stress
- cell walls
- drought/water stress
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
- Plant Science