Research Topic

Co-Evolution of Plant Cell Wall Polymers

About this Research Topic

Cell walls, composed of different types of polymers including polysaccharides, lignins and proteins, are a specific feature of plant cells. They provide mechanical support to the plant and constitute a physical protective barrier against environmental cues. They also enable cell-to-cell communication. They are modified in a dynamic manner during plant development and in response to biotic and abiotic stresses. Their structural organization and composition display a large diversity between species and between organs, and even cells, of a single species.

Since the emergence of land plants, important physiological, morphological and environmental changes have occurred corresponding to major cell wall innovations. Three major changes can be highlighted: (i) the evolution of multicellularity, and change in body-plan to a three-dimensional-, rather than planar or filamentous, form, leading to the requirement for cell adhesion and cell-to-cell communication; (ii) the appearance of a composite cuticle made of several layers of polysaccharides, wax, and cutin to protect cells against UV light and desiccation, and (iii) the addition of aromatic compounds eventually polymerized into lignins to waterproof the walls of conducting vessels and reinforce walls thus allowing the growth in height of vascular plants. The evolution and the diversity of cell wall polysaccharides and aromatic compounds have been accompanied by the diversification of cell wall structural proteins and wall-localised remodelling enzymes and of proteins contributing to the biosynthesis of cell wall constituents.

Tools for molecular analyses and genomic data are now available and allow more integrative studies to better understand the evolution and the co-evolution of cell wall polysaccharides, aromatic compounds and proteins in the context of multicellularity and terrestrialization. This Research Topic welcomes Reviews and Original Research articles dealing with the evolution of polysaccharides, lignins or proteins in the green lineage.


Keywords: Cell Wall Protein, Evolution, Green Lineage, Lignin, Polysaccharide


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Cell walls, composed of different types of polymers including polysaccharides, lignins and proteins, are a specific feature of plant cells. They provide mechanical support to the plant and constitute a physical protective barrier against environmental cues. They also enable cell-to-cell communication. They are modified in a dynamic manner during plant development and in response to biotic and abiotic stresses. Their structural organization and composition display a large diversity between species and between organs, and even cells, of a single species.

Since the emergence of land plants, important physiological, morphological and environmental changes have occurred corresponding to major cell wall innovations. Three major changes can be highlighted: (i) the evolution of multicellularity, and change in body-plan to a three-dimensional-, rather than planar or filamentous, form, leading to the requirement for cell adhesion and cell-to-cell communication; (ii) the appearance of a composite cuticle made of several layers of polysaccharides, wax, and cutin to protect cells against UV light and desiccation, and (iii) the addition of aromatic compounds eventually polymerized into lignins to waterproof the walls of conducting vessels and reinforce walls thus allowing the growth in height of vascular plants. The evolution and the diversity of cell wall polysaccharides and aromatic compounds have been accompanied by the diversification of cell wall structural proteins and wall-localised remodelling enzymes and of proteins contributing to the biosynthesis of cell wall constituents.

Tools for molecular analyses and genomic data are now available and allow more integrative studies to better understand the evolution and the co-evolution of cell wall polysaccharides, aromatic compounds and proteins in the context of multicellularity and terrestrialization. This Research Topic welcomes Reviews and Original Research articles dealing with the evolution of polysaccharides, lignins or proteins in the green lineage.


Keywords: Cell Wall Protein, Evolution, Green Lineage, Lignin, Polysaccharide


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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15 January 2019 Manuscript

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Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 January 2019 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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