Regulatory factors controlling cell wall formation

Molecular Genetics of Plant Development

The shape of plant cells and ultimately the entire plant is defined by the cell wall surrounding each cell. Cell walls not only protect the plant from biotic and abiotic stresses but also determine the extent and direction of the cell expansion.

Plant cell walls are complex structures of different interwoven polysaccharides and proteins and their composition strongly depends on the developmental stage of the cell. While the biosynthesis of the different components of cell walls is quite well understood, the regulatory mechanism controlling their assembly still remains largely elusive.

Using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model system, our lab is characterizing different factors that influence cell growth and cell wall formation. On one hand, we are analyzing regulatory proteins in the cell wall that directly affect cell wall development. Alternatively, the TOR (Target of Rapamycin) pathway, a major growth controller of eukaryotes, is an intracellular growth regulator which in plants seems to influence cell wall development. Cell growth can also be influenced by plant secondary metabolites that affect cellular processes; the exact mode of action is currently being investigated. Finally, we are assessing the contribution of individual components of the cell wall to its mechanical property.


Recent Publications

  • Defects in Cell Wall Differentiation of the Arabidopsis Mutant rol1-2 Is Dependent on Cyclin-Dependent Kinase CDK8
    Schumacher, Isabel; Ndinyanka Fabrice, Tohnyui; Abdou, Marie-Therese; Kuhn, Benjamin M.; Voxeur, Aline; Herger, Aline; Roffler, Stefan; Bigler, Laurent; Wicker, Thomas; Ringli, Christoph
    Cells  10.3390/cells10030685   Published: MAR 2021
  • Overlapping functions and protein-protein interactions of LRR-extensins in Arabidopsis
    Herger, Aline; Gupta, Shibu; Kadler, Gabor; Franck, Christina Maria; Boisson-Dernier, Aurelien; et al.
    Plos Genetics  DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008847 JUN 2020
  • Leucine-Rich Repeat Extensin Proteins and Their Role in Cell Wall Sensing
    Herger, A; Dunser, K; Kleine-Vehn, J; Ringli, C
    CURRENT BIOLOGY, 29 (17):R851-R858; 10.1016/j.cub.2019.07.039 SEP 9 2019
  • Mutations in the Arabidopsis ROL17/isopropylmalate synthase 1 locus alter amino acid content, modify the TOR network, and suppress the root hair cell development mutant lrx1
    Schaufelberger, M; Galbier, F; Herger, A; Francisco, RD; Roffler, S; Clement, G; Diet, A; Hortensteiner, S; Wicker, T; Ringli, C
    JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BOTANY, 70 (8):2313-2323; SI 10.1093/jxb/ery463 APR 1 2019
  • Linker histones are fine-scale chromatin architects modulating developmental decisions in Arabidopsis
    Rutowicz, K; Lirski, M; Mermaz, B; Teano, G; Schubert, J; Mestiri, I; Kroten, MA; Fabrice, TN; Fritz, S; Grob, S; Ringli, C; Cherkezyan, L; Barneche, F; Jerzmanowski, A; Baroux, C
    GENOME BIOLOGY, 20 (1):10.1186/s13059-019-1767-3 AUG 7 2019
  • Extracellular matrix sensing by FERONIA and Leucine-Rich Repeat Extensins controls vacuolar expansion during cellular elongation in Arabidopsis thaliana
    Duenser, Kai; Gupta, Shibu; Herger, Aline; Feraru, Mugurel, I; Ringli, Christoph; Kleine-Vehn, Jurgen
    EMBO JOURNAL, 38 (7):10.15252/embj.2018100353 APR 1 2019
  • LRX proteins play a crucial role in pollen grain and pollen tube cell wall development
    Ndinyanka Fabrice T, Vogler H, Draeger C, Munglani G, Gupta S, Herger AG, Knox JP, Grossniklaus U, Ringli C
    Plant Physiol (2017)
  • Transmission electron microscopy imaging to analyze chromatin density distribution at the nanoscale level
    Ndinyanka Fabrice T, Cherkezyan L, Ringli C, Baroux C.
    Methods in Molecular Biology. Vol. 1675, 10.1007/978-1-4939-7318-7_34  (2017)
  • RALF4/19 peptides interact with LRX proteins to control pollen tube growth in Arabidopsis 
    Mecchia, Martin A.; Santos-Fernandez, Gorka; Duss, Nadine N.; et al. 
    SCIENCE, 358 (6370): 1600-1603 10.1126/science.aao5467  DEC 22 2017
  • Efficient preparation of Arabidopsis pollen tubes for ultrastructural analysis using chemical and cryo-fixation 
    Fabrice, Tohnyui Ndinyanka; Kaech, Andres; Barmettler, Gery; et al. 
    BMC PLANT BIOLOGY, 17:  10.1186/s12870-017-1136-x OCT 27 2017
  • Flavonol-induced changes in PIN2 polarity and auxin transport in the Arabidopsis thaliana rol1-2 mutant require phosphatase activity 
    Kuhn, Benjamin M.; Nodzynski, Tomasz; Errafi, Sanae; et al. 
    SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 7: 10.1038/srep41906  FEB 6 2017
  • Characterization of size-dependent mechanical properties of tip-growing cells using a lab-on-chip deviced 
    Hu, Chengzhi; Munglani, Gautam; Vogler, Hannes; et al. 
    LAB ON A CHIP, 17 (1): 82-90, 10.1039/c6lc01145d  2017
Christoph Ringli UZH

Prof. Dr. Christoph Ringli
University of Zurich
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
8008 Zurich

Tel: +41 (0)44 634 82 33

Research topics

  • Cell wall development
  • Root hair formation
  • Pollen tube growth
  • Immunological analysis of cell walls



  • Plant metabolomics
  • Structural identification of secondary metabolites
  • Arabidopsis / yeast equivalency in growth-regulatory processes
  • Biofuels