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Understanding the Root Xylem Plasticity for Designing Resilient Crops
  • Salves Cornelis,
  • Ora Hazak
Salves Cornelis
University of Fribourg
Author Profile
Ora Hazak
University of Fribourg
Author Profile


Xylem is a main road in plant long-distance communication. Through xylem plants transport water, minerals and myriad of signaling molecules. With the onset during early embryogenesis, the development of xylem tissues relays on hormone gradients, activity of unique transcription factors, distribution of mobile miRNAs and receptor-ligand pathways. These regulatory mechanisms are often interconnected and all together contribute to the plasticity of water conducting tissue. Remarkably, root xylem carries water to all above-ground organs and therefore influences all aspects of plant growth. Because of the global warming and increasing water deficit, we need to come up with solutions for the crops of the future. It is clear that structure of water conducting elements directly impacts water transport within the plant. Among plant pathogens- vascular wilts attacking xylem -are the most harmful. Our knowledge about xylem anatomy and rewiring ability could bring the solutions against these diseases. In this review we summarize the recent findings on the molecular mechanisms of xylem formation with a special attention to the cellular changes, and cell wall rearrangements that are necessary to create functional capillaries. We emphasize the impact of abiotic factors and pathogens on xylem plasticity and discuss multidisciplinary approach to model xylem in crops.

Peer review status:IN REVISION

02 Aug 2021Submitted to Plant, Cell & Environment
03 Aug 2021Assigned to Editor
03 Aug 2021Submission Checks Completed
10 Aug 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
05 Sep 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
07 Sep 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor