Transcriptome analyses have been performed on mature trichomes isolated from wild-type Arabidopsis leaves and on leaf trichomes isolated from the gl3-sst sim double mutant, which exhibit many attributes of immature trichomes. The mature trichome profile contained many highly expressed genes involved in cell wall synthesis, protein turnover, and abiotic stress response. The most highly expressed genes in the gl3-sst sim profile encoded ribosomal proteins and other proteins involved in translation. Comparative analyses showed that all but one of the genes encoding transcription factors previously found to be important for trichome formation, and many other trichome-important genes, were preferentially expressed in gl3-sst sim trichomes. The analysis of genes preferentially expressed in gl3-sst sim led to the identification of four additional genes required for normal trichome development. One of these was the HDG2 gene, which is a member of the HD-ZIP IV transcription factor gene family. Mutations in this gene did not alter trichome expansion, but did alter mature trichome cell walls. Mutations in BLT resulted in a loss of trichome branch formation. The relationship between blt and the phenotypically identical mutant, sti, was explored. Mutations in PEL3, which was previously shown to be required for development of the leaf cuticle, resulted in the occasional tangling of expanding trichomes. Mutations in another gene encoding a protein with an unknown function altered trichome branch formation.
- Cell differentiation
- Cell wall