Chinese Bulletin of Botany ›› 2017, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (5): 637-651.DOI: 10.11983/CBB16127

• SPECIAL TOPICS • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Advances in Study of Plant Cuticle Genes

Ruijun Duan1, Aidong Wang1,2, Guoxiong Chen2*   

  1. 1College of Eco-Environmental Engineering, Qinghai University, Xining 810016, China
    2Laboratory of Plant Stress Ecophysiology and Biotechnology, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2016-06-07 Accepted:2016-11-11 Online:2017-09-01 Published:2017-07-10
  • Contact: Guoxiong Chen

Abstract: The cuticle is assembled at the surface of plant epidermal cells as a hydrophobic coating. It acts as an efficient barrier that protects the plant against uncontrolled water loss as well as environmental stress. It also plays a role in self-cleaning and plant development. The cuticle mainly consists of wax and cutin. The major structural component of the cuticle is cutin, which is a polyester rich in oxygenated fatty acids and glycerol. The cuticular waxes are complex mixtures of hydrophobic material containing predominantly very-long-chain fatty acids and their derivatives. The biosynthesis of polyester monomers as well as aliphatic wax components are localized at the endoplasmic reticulum. Then they are transported to the surface of plant epidermal cells and assembled into a functional cuticle structure. Much progress has been made in understanding the steps of biosynthesis, transport, formation and regulation of cuticular components by study of cuticle genes. The pathways of wax and cutin synthesis are gradually emerging due to the advances of cuticle gene-related research. The mapping and functional analysis of the ABCG full transporter has been a breakthrough in cuticle secretion research. A deeper understanding of the formation of cuticle layers has been achieved with the analysis of esterase and lipase-related cuticle genes. In terms of regulation, the findings of transcription factor genes, as well as the interaction mechanism between cuticle and the environment, have increased our knowledge of regulatory circuits. We review the current progress in study of these important genes.

Key words: cuticle, biosynthesis, transport, formation, gene