Review: More than sweet: New insights into the biology of phloem parenchyma transfer cells in Arabidopsis

Xiao Yang Wei, David A. Collings, David W. McCurdy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Web of Science)


Transfer cells (TCs) develop extensive wall ingrowths to facilitate enhanced rates of membrane transport. In Arabidopsis, TCs trans-differentiate from phloem parenchyma (PP) cells abutting the sieve element/companion cell complex in minor veins of foliar tissues and, based on anatomy and expression of SWEET sucrose uniporters, are assumed to play pivotal roles in phloem loading. While wall ingrowth deposition in PP TCs is a dynamic process responding to abiotic stresses such as high light and cold, the transcriptional control of PP TC development, including deposition of the wall ingrowths themselves, is not understood. PP TC development is a trait of vegetative phase change, potentially linking wall ingrowth deposition with floral induction. Transcript profiling by RNA-seq identified NAC056 and NAC018 (NARS1 and NARS2) as putative regulators of wall ingrowth deposition, while recent single cell RNA-seq analysis of leaf vasculature identified PP-specific expression of NAC056. Numerous membrane transporters, particularly of the UmamiT family of amino acid efflux carriers, were also identified. Collectively, these findings, and the recent discovery that wall ingrowth deposition is regulated by sucrose-dependent loading activity of these cells, provide new insights into the biology of PP TCs and their importance to phloem loading in Arabidopsis, establishing these cells as a key transport hub for phloem loading.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110990
JournalPlant Science
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Review: More than sweet: New insights into the biology of phloem parenchyma transfer cells in Arabidopsis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this