Research Topic

Plant cell walls as extra cellular matrices (ECMs) and biosensors

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The plant cell wall is extremely dynamic and constantly remodeled in response to external and internal stimuli (i.e., abiotic and biotic stress, and hormones), which in turn relay downstream signal mediating growth and development. Therefore, plant cell walls must act as sensors. For example, Arabidopsis ...

The plant cell wall is extremely dynamic and constantly remodeled in response to external and internal stimuli (i.e., abiotic and biotic stress, and hormones), which in turn relay downstream signal mediating growth and development. Therefore, plant cell walls must act as sensors. For example, Arabidopsis mutant cev1 links cell wall signaling to jasmonate and ethylene responses. Another example is the role of wall associated kinases (WAKs) in plant development. Hence, understanding the synthesis and deposition of the cell wall is a key step in understanding how this intricate structure serves as a multi-purpose sensor. In addition, the biosynthetic process involves an array of enzymes and enzyme complexes, and sophisticated machinery for polymer secretion to the cell surface. The intention of this Research Topic is to compile our current state of knowledge about plant cell wall structure, biosynthesis, and its role as a sensor that regulates plant growth and development. This Research Topic in Frontiers of Plant Science will lay down strong foundation for future work.

A. Structure and complexity of the Cell wall:

This section will not only review the current state of knowledge regarding the biochemical nature of the cell wall but will also elaborate on the various types of molecular interactions that lead to the assembly of a functional structure. In addition this section will also take in to consideration various biological, chemical and physical factors that influence its stability and mediate remodeling.

B. Biosynthesis and assembly of the Cell wall:

This section will explore our current state of knowledge regarding the biosynthesis and assembly of this complex hetero polymeric extra-cellular matrix (ECM). The focus will be on pectin, hemicellulose and Cellulose. In addition the synthesis of these polymers is highly compartmentalized and involves cellular secretory machinery for trafficking of the newly synthesized molecules to the cell surface. Therefore, the role of secretory pathway in cell wall synthesis and assembly will also be considered.

C. The Cell wall as a sensor:

Recent discoveries have shown that the cell wall is not an inert matrix of polymer; rather it undergoes dynamic changes and remodeling in response to external and internal stimuli. In doing so the cell wall relays downstream signals that mediate plant growth and development. This section is intended to review our current understanding in this regard.
D. Cell wall biomass as a substrate for biofuel:

The cellulosic biomass is the most abundant substrate available for conversion in to value added products such as biofuel. This abundant substrate has been an important component of the carbon cycle and a source of sustenance of life on earth. Nature has evolved various bioreactors to carry out the recycling process in the form of microorganisms however; the process is extremely slow partly due to the presence of recalcitrant polysaccharides in the biomass. In recent years we have learned from nature and various innovative biological and physicochemical approaches have been adapted to accelerate this process and to make this process commercially feasible. This section will review the current advancement in the biofuel industry.


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