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Improved biomaterial from plant cells

An EU-funded project is looking to investigate plant cell walls and cell division to improve biomaterials and biofuels.
Improved biomaterial from plant cells
Plant growth is strongly influenced by cell walls and the division thereof. These cell walls make up most of the biomass used for biofuels and biomaterials.

Researchers used state-of-the-art technologies in cell biology and systems biochemistry to study cell wall manufacture. The CEWALDYN (Plant Cell Wall Dynamics During Cell Cycle) project investigated how plant cells adjust in various cycles by detecting carbohydrates and analysing enzymes.

Scientists studied the composition of cell walls at different stages of the cell cycle and determined that there are different modes of cell wall production. They determined that pectin rhamnogalacturonan is increased when the cell is formed whereas arabinogalactan proteins are increased when cells stop dividing.

Scientists also developed probes to show how pectin molecules are laid down in the cell wall in real time. They determined that the pectins homogalacturonan and rhamnogalacturoan are the most active cell wall components. Researchers also studied a number of genes related to cell wall production in detail.

The CEWALDYN project may allow researchers to manipulate cell wall characteristics for improved biomaterials and biofuels.

Related information


Plant cell walls, cell division, biomaterials, biofuels, biomass
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