Thorough characterization of vascular structure in plants


IMAGE: Separated vascular cells of Arabidopsis; phloem parenchyma cells are identified in cyan.
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Credit: HHU/ Ji-Yun Kim

The leaf vasculature of plants plays an essential function in transferring solutes from where they are made – for instance from the plant cells driving photosynthesis – to where they are kept or utilized. Sugars and amino acids are transferred from the leaves to the roots and the seeds through the conductive paths of the phloem.

Phloem is the part of the tissue in vascular plants that makes up the screen aspects – where real translocation occurs – and the buddy cells in addition to the phloem parenchyma cells. The leaf veins include a minimum of 7 unique cell types, with particular functions in transportation, metabolic process and signalling.

Little is understood about the vascular cells in leaves, in specific the phloem parenchyma. 2 groups of Alexander von Humboldt professorship trainees from Düsseldorf and Tübingen, an associate from Champaign Urbana in Illinois, U.S.A., and a chair of bioinformatics from Düsseldorf have actually provided the initially detailed analysis of the vascular cells in the leaves of thale cress ( Arabidopsis thaliana) utilizing single cell sequencing.

The group led up by Alexander von Humboldt Teacher Dr. Marja Timmermans from Tübingen University was the very first to utilize single cell sequencing in plants to characterise root cells. In cooperation with Prof. Timmermans’ group, scientists from the Alexander von Humboldt Teacher Dr. Wolf Frommer in Düsseldorf was successful for the very first time in separating plant cells to develop an atlas of all regulative RNA particles (the transcriptome) of the leaf vasculature. They had the ability to specify the function of the various cells by evaluating the metabolic paths.

To name a few things, the research study group showed for the very first time that the records of sugars (SWEET) and amino acids (UmamiT) transporters are discovered in the phloem parenchyma cells which carry these substances from where they are produced to the vascular system. The substances are consequently actively imported into the screen component buddy cell complex through the 2nd group of transporters (SUT or AAP) and after that exported from the source leaf.

These comprehensive examinations included close cooperations with HHU bioinformatics scientists in Prof. Dr. Martin Lercher’s working group. Together they had the ability to figure out that phloem parenchyma and buddy cells have complementary metabolic paths and are for that reason in a position to manage the structure of the phloem sap.

Very first author and leader of the work group Dr. Ji-Yun Kim from HHU discusses: “Our analysis offers entirely brand-new insights into the leaf vasculature and the function and relationship of the private leaf cell types.” Institute Head Prof. Frommer includes: “The cooperation in between the 4 working groups made it possible to utilize brand-new techniques to acquire insights for the very first time into the crucial cells in plant paths and to for that reason acquire a basis for a much better understanding of plant metabolic process.”


Initial publication


Ji-Yun Kim, Efthymia Symeonidi, Tin Yau Pang, Tom Denyer, Diana Weidauer, Margaret Bezrutczyk, Manuel Miras, Nora Zöllner, Thomas Hartwig, Michael M. Wudick, Martin Lercher, Li-Qing Chen, Marja C.P Timmermans & & Wolf B. Frommer, Unique identities of leaf phloem cells exposed by single cell transcriptomics, The Plant Cell, 2021

DOI: 10.1093/ plcell/koaa060 .

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