To adapt to life on land, plants developed lipid-derived modifications on the surface of aerial organs (shoot). The cuticle forms a multi-layered structure of lipid components at the outermost surface of the organ to protect plant cells from environment stresses. Roots, as the organ specialized for the acquisition of water and nutrients, were thought to have no cuticle, as it might prevent absorption. Here, Berhin et al. presented a breakthrough discovery that cuticle also exists in root. Using histological, chemical, and genetic approaches, they showed a previously unrecognized root cap cuticle (RCC) on the first cell layer of the root cap of the primary root and in lateral root primordia. Their findings reveal the role for root caps in early developmental stage and demonstrate that the RCC plays similar physiological roles as the cuticle of the shoot.
(Summary written for Plantae, Plant Science Research Weekly)
Journal reference: Berhin et al, 2019, Cell