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The endodermis--development and differentiation of the plant's inner skin.
Controlling external compound entrance is essential for plant survival. To set up an efficient and selective sorting of nutrients, free diffusion via the apoplast in vascular plants is blocked at the level of the endodermis. Although we have learned a lot about endodermal specification in the last years, information regarding its differentiation is still very limited. A differentiated endodermal cell can be defined by the presence of the "Casparian strip" (CS), a cell wall modification described first by Robert Caspary in 1865. While the anatomical description of CS in many vascular plants has been very detailed, we still lack molecular information about the establishment of the Casparian strips and their actual function in roots. The recent isolation of a novel protein family, the CASPs, that localizes precisely to a domain of the plasma membrane underneath the CS represents an excellent point of entry to explore CS function and formation. In addition, it has been shown that the endodermis contains transporters that are localized to either the central (stele-facing) or peripheral (soil-facing) plasma membranes. These features suggest that the endodermis functions as a polar plant epithelium.
Arabidopsis/cytology, Arabidopsis/metabolism, Arabidopsis Proteins/metabolism, Cell Differentiation, Cell Polarity, Cell Wall/metabolism, Cell Wall/physiology, Membrane Proteins/metabolism, Plant Epidermis/physiology, Plant Roots/cytology, Plant Roots/metabolism, Plant Vascular Bundle/cytology, Plant Vascular Bundle/physiology, Protein Transport
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