Transcriptome analysis using the Affymetrix ATH1 platform has been completed on purified trichomes from the gl3-sst mutant. These trichomes display immature features, such as glassy cell walls and blunted branches. The gl3-sst trichome transcriptome was greatly enriched for genes involved in lipid biosynthesis, including those mediating the synthesis of fatty acids and wax. In addition, gl3-sst trichomes displayed reduced expression of the R3 MYBs TRY and CPC, which normally function to limit trichome development. The expression of the MIXTA-like MYB gene NOK was elevated. Members of the MIXTA-like family promote conical cell outgrowth, and in some cases, trichome initiation in diverse plant species. In contrast, NOK limits trichome outgrowth in wild-type Arabidopsis plants. Similar to other MIXTA-like genes, NOK was required for the expansion of gl3-sst trichomes, as the gl3-sst nok double mutant trichomes were greatly reduced in size. Expression of NOK in nok mutants reduced branch formation, whereas in gl3-sst nok, NOK expression promoted trichome cell outgrowth, illustrating duel roles for NOK in both promoting and limiting trichome development. MIX7A-like genes from phylogenetically diverse plant species could substitute for A/OK in both nok and gl3-sst nok backgrounds. These findings suggest that certain aspects of NOK and MIXTA-like gene function have been conserved.
- Conical cell