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    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is known to have positive physiological functions in plant growth, but limited data are available on its influence on cell walls. Here, we demonstrate a novel mechanism by which H2S regulates the biosynthesis and deposition of cell wall cellulose in alfalfa (Medicago sativa). Treatment with NaHS was found to increase the length of epidermal cells in the hypocotyl, and transcriptome analysis indicated that it caused the differential expression of numerous of cell wall-related genes. These differentially expressed genes were directly associated with the biosynthesis of cellulose and hemicellulose, and with the degradation of pectin. Analysis of cell wall composition showed that NaHS treatment increased the contents of cellulose and hemicellulose, but decreased the pectin content. Atomic force microscopy revealed that treatment with NaHS decreased the diameter of cellulose fibrils, altered the arrangement of the fibrillar bundles, and increased the spacing between the bundles. The dynamics of cellulose synthase complexes (CSCs) were closely related to cellulose synthesis, and NaHS increased the rate of mobility of the particles. Overall, our results suggest that the H2S signal enhances the plasticity of the cell wall by regulating the deposition of cellulose fibrils and by decreasing the pectin content. The resulting increases in cellulose and hemicellulose contents lead to cell wall expansion and cell elongation. © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:


    Jisheng Li, Xiaofeng Wang, Xiao Wang, Peiyun Ma, Weili Yin, Yanqing Wang, Ying Chen, Shaolin Chen, Honglei Jia. Hydrogen sulfide promotes hypocotyl elongation via increasing cellulose content and changing the arrangement of cellulose fibrils in alfalfa. Journal of experimental botany. 2020 Oct 07;71(19):5852-5864

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    PMID: 32640016

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