A cellwall review

In the comprehensive review,  Plant cell walls throughout evolution: towards a molecular understanding of their design principles, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, cell walls are discussed from three angles. The first focuses on the evolution and diversity of cell walls; the primary discussion is based on the current biochemical and genetic information available. With this information the review attempts to elucidate and explain how and why such features have evolved and what fitness benefits they offer to their respective plants. Secondly the review focuses on the different aspects of cell wall deconstruction. In doing so the article explains much of what we have already discussed in class, however it emphasizes how the diversity in the distribution of the basic components necessary for each plant’s survival is the cause of the bottleneck for efficiently breaking down cell walls. Plant engineers also face this problem when trying to balance the components of the cell wall so that they are both easily fermented while still able to grow tall and resist microbial attack. Thirdly the review discusses the various tools and techniques  currently being used to study the cell wall
3D macromolecular organization and composition. The hope is for  a realistic model of plant cell walls to eventually establish the ability to redesign plant cell walls to allow commercial production of lignocellulose-based biofuels, timber, textile and paper.


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