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Overexpression of INCREASED CAMBIAL ACTIVITY, a putative methyltransferase, increases cambial activity and plant growth

Kim, Hyunsook, Kojima, Mikiko, Choi, Daeseok, Park, Soyoung, Matsui, Minami, Sakakibara, Hitoshi, Hwang, Ildoo
Journal of integrative plant biology 2016 v.58 no.11 pp. 874-889
Arabidopsis, biomass, byproducts, cambium, cytokinins, gene overexpression, genes, gibberellins, homeostasis, methanol, methyltransferases, pectinesterase, pectins, stem elongation, transgenic plants
Cambial activity is a prerequisite for secondary growth in plants; however, regulatory factors controlling the activity of the secondary meristem in radial growth remain elusive. Here, we identified INCREASED CAMBIAL ACTIVITY (ICA), a gene encoding a putative pectin methyltransferase, which could function as a modulator for the meristematic activity of fascicular and interfascicular cambium in Arabidopsis. An overexpressing transgenic line, 35S::ICA, showed accelerated stem elongation and radial thickening, resulting in increased accumulation of biomass, and increased levels of cytokinins (CKs) and gibberellins (GAs). Expression of genes encoding pectin methylesterases involved in pectin modification together with pectin methyltransferases was highly induced in 35S::ICA, which might contribute to an increase of methanol emission as a byproduct in 35S::ICA. Methanol treatment induced the expression of GA‐ or CK‐responsive genes and stimulated plant growth. Overall, we propose that ectopic expression of ICA increases cambial activity by regulating CK and GA homeostasis, and methanol emission, eventually leading to stem elongation and radial growth in the inflorescence stem.