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Grass secondary cell walls, Brachypodium distachyon as a model for discovery

Abstract : A key aspect of plant growth is the synthesis and deposition of cell walls. In specific tissues and cell types including xylem and fibre, a thick secondary wall comprised of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin is deposited. Secondary cell walls provide a physical barrier that protects plants from pathogens, promotes tolerance to abiotic stresses and fortifies cells to withstand the forces associated with water transport and the physical weight of plant structures. Grasses have numerous cell wall features that are distinct from eudicots and other plants. Study of the model species Brachypodium distachyon as well as other grasses has revealed numerous features of the grass cell wall. These include the characterisation of xylosyl and arabinosyltransferases, a mixed-linkage glucan synthase and hydroxycinnamate acyltransferases. Perhaps the most fertile area for discovery has been the formation of lignins, including the identification of novel substrates and enzyme activities towards the synthesis of monolignols. Other enzymes function as polymerising agents or transferases that modify lignins and facilitate interactions with polysaccharides. The regulatory aspects of cell wall biosynthesis are largely overlapping with those of eudicots, but salient differences among species have been resolved that begin to identify the determinants that define grass cell walls.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 18, 2021 - 3:38:53 PM
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Joshua Coomey, Richard Sibout, Samuel Hazen. Grass secondary cell walls, Brachypodium distachyon as a model for discovery. New Phytologist, Wiley, 2020, 227 (6), pp.1649-1667. ⟨10.1111/nph.16603⟩. ⟨hal-03173610⟩



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