Cell-cell adhesion in plant grafting is facilitated by β-1,4-glucanases.
Plant grafting is conducted for fruit and vegetable propagation, whereby a piece of living tissue is attached to another through cell-cell adhesion. However, graft compatibility limits combinations to closely related species, and the mechanism is poorly understood. We found that Nicotiana is capable of graft adhesion with a diverse range of angiosperms. Comparative transcriptomic analyses on graft combinations indicated that a subclade of β-1,4-glucanases secreted into the extracellular region facilitates cell wall reconstruction near the graft interface. Grafting was promoted by overexpression of the β-1,4-glucanase. Using Nicotiana stem as an interscion, we produced tomato fruits on rootstocks from other plant families. These findings demonstrate that the process of cell-cell adhesion is a potential target to enhance plant grafting techniques.