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Unlike animal cells, plant cells have cell walls. The primary cell wall is thin and flexible, whereas the secondary cell wall is thick and rigid. In xylem, the secondary cell wall is responsible for mechanical strength. With regards to xylem formation, Professor Demura, who studies how the environment affects plant growth at the molecular level, is interested in a specific group of genes.
"VASCULAR-RELATED NAC-DOMAIN (VND) genes are responsible for xylem formation. The precise roles of different VND genes in xylem tissues of diverse organs are unknown," he says.
VND - Genes - Model - Plant - Arabidopsis
There are 7 VND genes in the model plant, Arabidopsis. To investigate the role of each on xylem development, the Demura lab designed the KDB system, which uses plant hormones to stimulate xylem development. Using this system and a series of VND mutations, the scientists found that VND1,...
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