Functional & Integrative Genomics

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 163–176 | Cite as

Flax tubulin and CesA superfamilies represent attractive and challenging targets for a variety of genome- and base-editing applications

  • Laura Morello
  • Nikolay Pydiura
  • Dmitry Galinousky
  • Yaroslav BlumeEmail author
  • Diego BreviarioEmail author


Flax is both a valuable resource and an interesting model crop. Despite a long history of flax genetic transformation only one transgenic linseed cultivar has been so far registered in Canada. Implementation and use of the genome-editing technologies that allow site-directed modification of endogenous genes without the introduction of foreign genes might improve this situation. Besides its potential for boosting crop yields, genome editing is now one of the best tools for carrying out reverse genetics and it is emerging as an especially versatile tool for studying basic biology. A complex interplay between the flax tubulin family (6 α-, 14 β-, and 2 γ-tubulin genes), the building block of microtubules, and the CesA (15-16 genes), the subunit of the multimeric cellulose-synthesizing complex devoted to the oriented deposition of the cellulose microfibrils is fundamental for the biosynthesis of the cell wall. The role of the different members of each family in providing specificities to the assembled complexes in terms of structure, dynamics, activity, and interaction remains substantially obscure. Genome-editing strategies, recently shown to be successful in flax, can therefore be useful to unravel the issue of functional redundancy and provide evidence for specific interactions between different members of the tubulin and CesA gene families, in relation to different phase and mode of cell wall biosynthesis.


Flax Bast fibers Flax fibers Genome editing Tubulin CesA 









Cellulose synthase


Cellulose-synthesizing complexes


Crop Development Centre


Post-translational modification


Whole genome duplication


Primary cell wall


Secondary cell wall


Snap point


Central cytoplasmic domain


Class-specific region


Plant-conserved region



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Istituto di Biologia e Biotecnologia Agraria IBBA-CNRMilanItaly
  2. 2.Institute of Food Biotechnology and GenomicsNational Academy of Sciences of UkraineKyivUkraine
  3. 3.Institute of Genetics and CytologyNational Academy of Sciences of BelarusMinskBelarus

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