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Title: Brachypodium as an experimental system for the study of stem parenchyma biology in grasses

Stem parenchyma is a major cell type that serves key metabolic functions for the plant especially in large grasses, such as sugarcane and sweet sorghum, where it serves to store sucrose or other products of photosynthesis. It is therefore desirable to understand the metabolism of this cell type as well as the mechanisms by which it provides its function for the rest of the plant. Ultimately, this information can be used to selectively manipulate this cell type in a controlled manner to achieve crop improvement. In this study, we show that Brachypodium distachyon is a useful model system for stem pith parenchyma biology. Brachypodium can be grown under condition where it resembles the growth patterns of important crops in that it produces large amounts of stem material with the lower leaves senescing and with significant stores of photosynthate located in the stem parenchyma cell types. We further characterize stem plastid morphology as a function of tissue types, as this organelle is central for a number of metabolic pathways, and quantify gene expression for the four main classes of starch biosynthetic genes. Notably, we find several of these genes differentially regulated between stem and leaf. Furthermore, these studies show, consistent withmore » other grasses, that the stem functions as a specialized storage compartment in Brachypodium.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States)
  2. Murdoch Univ. (Australia)
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Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 12; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 1932-6203
Public Library of Science
Research Org:
Univ. of Wisconsin System, Madison, WI (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; leaves; starches; internodes; parenchyma cells; grasses; sucrose; gene expression; plastids
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