ISSN 10227954, Russian Journal of Genetics, 2014, Vol. 50, No. 1, pp. 20–27. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2014.
Original Russian Text © D.V. Galinousky, N.V. Anisimova, A.P. Raiski, V.N. Leontiev, V.V. Titok, L.V. Khotyleva, 2014, published in Genetika, 2014, Vol. 50, No. 1, pp. 26–34.
Flax has been grown for more than 10000 years for
fiber production . Currently, flax is used in the tex
tile industry and in the manufacture of composite
materials . In comparison with other natural fibers
(wool, cotton), linen has a number of advantages, the
most important of which are its high mechanical
strength and water absorbing property. These proper
ties are due to the structural features of flax, which
consists of tiny tubes with thick walls, called elemen
tary fibers. From a biological point of view, elementary
fibers are phloem cells with a hypertrophic cell wall.
According to its chemical composition, the base mate
rial of flax fiber is cellulose, which determines its phys
ical and chemical properties and processing charac
teristics. The cellulose content in mature fiber may
reach 70% of its weight . Investigation of the bio
genesis processes of the secondary cell wall (in partic
ular, cellulose biosynthesis) in flax has not only a fun
damental, but also applied relevance .
The molecular mechanisms of cellulose biosynthe
sis are now well understood. It is known that the syn
thesis of cellulose chains occurs via multienzyme
complexes, called cellulose synthase rosettes, which
are represented in higher plants by hexagonal mem
brane structures . Transmembrane cellulose syn
thase rosette is formed by 36 catalytic subunits—cel
lulose synthases, which simultaneously polymerize
glucan chains, forming a cellulose
The complexity of the structure of the cellulose
synthase complex does not allow
this biochemical process, which would allow a direct
demonstration of the enzymatic reaction , compli
cating the study of the cellulose biosynthesis. So far,
molecular genetics approaches are the most promising
for the investigation of cellulose synthesis in higher
Cellulose synthases are encoded by
that in higher plants belong to a multigene family. In
(L.) Heynh. genome, 10 cel
lulose synthase genes were identified , in Poplar—
16 , in rice (
L.)—3, and more than
50 genes were identified in wheat (
. Two groups of cellulose synthase genes expressed
during the formation of the primary and secondary
cell walls were identified , and the tissuespecific
expression of the different members of the multigene
cellulose synthase family was demonstrated .
The investigation of the various structures of
genes demonstrated that the identification of cel
lulose synthase genes is possible not only by the full
length sequence of the gene, but also based on the
sequence of the classspecific region (CSRII), i.e.
sequence of the gene fragment . These regions are
orthologs and may be used for iden
tification of the representative of the multigene family
of cellulose synthase. The effectiveness of this
approach was demonstrated using aspen plants .
Our work was dedicated to studying the role of
genes in the formation of flax fiber.
Since flax fiber is made from flax stems, we assume
that cellulose synthase genes, which operate in this
plant organ, control the formation of flax fiber and
affect its qualitative characteristics. The goal of this
study was the identification of cellulose synthase genes
specifically expressed in the stems of flax.
Cellulose Synthase Genes That Control the Fiber Formation
of Flax (
D. V. Galinousky
, N. V. Anisimova
, A. P. Raiski
, V. N. Leontiev
, V. V. Titok
, L. V. Khotyleva
Institute of Genetics and Cytology, National Academy of Science of Belarus, Minsk, 220072 Belarus
Belarusian State Technological University, Minsk, 220006 Belarus
Central Botanical Garden, National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Minsk, 220012 Belarus
Received April 23, 2013
—Four cellulose synthase genes were identified by analysis of their classspecific regions (CSRII) in
plants of fiber flax during the “rapid growth” stage. These genes were designated as
genes were expressed in the stem;
genes were expressed in the apex part of plants; and the
gene was expressed in the
leaves of fiber flax. The expression of the
genes was specific to the stems of fiber flax.
These genes may influence the quality of the flax fiber.