The making of plant armor: The periderm

Olga Serra, Ari Pekka Mähönen, Alexander J. Hetherington, Laura Ragni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The periderm acts as armor protecting the plant's inner tissues from biotic and abiotic stress. It forms during the radial thickening of plant organs such as stems and roots and replaces the function of primary protective tissues such as the epidermis and the endodermis. A wound periderm also forms to heal and protect injured tissues. The periderm comprises a meristematic tissue called the phellogen, or cork cambium, and its derivatives: the lignosuberized phellem and the phelloderm. Research on the periderm has mainly focused on the chemical composition of the phellem due to its relevance as a raw material for industrial processes. Today, there is increasing interest in the regulatory network underlying periderm development as a novel breeding trait to improve plant resilience and to sequester CO2. Here, we discuss our current understanding of periderm formation, focusing on aspects of periderm evolution, mechanisms of periderm ontogenesis, regulatory networks underlying phellogen initiation and cork differentiation, and future challenges of periderm research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-432
Number of pages28
JournalAnnual Review of Plant Biology
Issue number1
Early online date5 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • phellem
  • bark
  • phelloderm
  • cork cambium
  • phellogen
  • periderm


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