[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The regulation of cell specification in plants is particularly important in vascular development. The vascular system is comprised two differentiated tissue types, the xylem and phloem, which form conductive elements for the transport of water, nutrients and signaling molecules. A meristematic layer, the procambium, is located between these two differentiated cell types and divides to initiate vascular growth. We report the identification of a receptor-like kinase (RLK) that is expressed in the vasculature. Histochemical analyses of mutants in this kinase display an aberrant accumulation of highly lignified cells, typical of xylem or fiber cells, within the phloem. In addition, phloem cells are sometimes located adjacent to xylem cells in these mutants. We, therefore, named this RLK XYLEM INTERMIXED WITH PHLOEM 1 (XIP1). Analyses of longitudinal profiles of xip1 mutant stems show malformed cell files, indicating defects in oriented cell divisions or cell morphology. We propose that XIP1 prevents ectopic lignification in phloem cells and is necessary to maintain the organization of cell files or cell morphology in conductive elements.