Conserved signalling components coordinate epidermal patterning and cuticle deposition in barley

Linsan Liu, Sarah B. Jose, Chiara Campoli, Micha M. Bayer, Miguel A. Sánchez-Diaz, Trisha Mcallister, Yichun Zhou, Mhmoud Eskan, Linda Milne, Miriam Schreiber, Thomas Batstone, Ian D. Bull, Luke Ramsay, Penny von Wettstein-Knowles, Robbie Waugh, Alistair M. Hetherington, Sarah M. McKim (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Faced with terrestrial threats, land plants seal their aerial surfaces with a lipid-rich cuticle. To breathe, plants interrupt their cuticles with adjustable epidermal pores, called stomata, that regulate gas exchange, and develop other specialised epidermal cells such as defensive hairs. Mechanisms coordinating epidermal features remain poorly understood. Addressing this, we studied two loci whose allelic variation causes both cuticular wax-deficiency and misarranged stomata in barley, identifying the underlying genes, Cer-g/ HvYDA1, encoding a YODA-like (YDA) MAPKKK, and Cer-s/ HvBRX-Solo, encoding a single BREVIS-RADIX (BRX) domain protein. Both genes control cuticular integrity, the spacing and identity of epidermal cells, and barley’s distinctive epicuticular wax blooms, as well as stomatal patterning in elevated CO 2 conditions. Genetic analyses revealed epistatic and modifying relationships between HvYDA1 and HvBRX-Solo, intimating that their products participate in interacting pathway(s) linking epidermal patterning with cuticular properties in barley. This may represent a mechanism for coordinating multiple adaptive features of the land plant epidermis in a cultivated cereal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6050
Number of pages18
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2022


  • Cell fate
  • Plant genetics
  • Stomata

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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