Cell wall

The plant cell wall is a complex matrix of linked polysaccharides such as cellulose and pectin, forming a thick semi-permeable rigid barrier outside the plasma membrane. It physically protects and constrains the cell, and its exact composition is highly variable depending on the species.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Curcumin, an aromatic diarylheptanoid, is a principal component of turmeric (Curcuma longa), commonly used in Asian cooking, giving curry its orange colour. Introducing two enzymes into Arabidopsis thaliana caused incorporation of curcumin into its lignin polymer, enhancing sugar release from the cell wall and turning it yellow.

    • Gerald A. Tuskan
    Nature Plants 5, 128
  • News and Views |

    Plants synthesize a diversity of cell walls to fit the needs of different cell types and phases of development. A group of transcription factors has now been identified that governs formation of one type of primary cell wall.

    • Daniel J. Cosgrove
    Nature Plants 4, 748-749
  • News and Views |

    Cell walls made mainly of polysaccharides are a distinguishing feature of plants. They play key roles in adaptation today and during pivotal evolutionary events, such as colonization of dry land and development of a water-conducting vascular system. A critical enzyme involved in cell wall biosynthesis has now been identified.

    • Peter Ulvskov
    •  & Henrik V. Scheller
    Nature Plants 4, 635-636