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Plant Physiol. 1990 Nov;94(3):980-7.

Adaptation and growth of tomato cells on the herbicide 2,6-dichlorobenzonitrile leads to production of unique cell walls virtually lacking a cellulose-xyloglucan network.

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  • 1Department of Botany, Institute of Life Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel.


Suspension-cultured cells of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum VF 36) have been adapted to growth on high concentrations of 2,6-dichlorobenzonitrile, an herbicide which inhibits cellulose biosynthesis. The mechanism of adaptation appears to rest largely on the ability of these cells to divide and expand in the virtual absence of a cellulose-xyloglucan network. Walls of adapted cells growing on 2,6-dichlorobenzonitrile also differ from nonadapted cells by having reduced levels of hydroxyproline in protein, both in bound and salt-elutable form, and in having a much higher proportion of homogalacturonan and rhamnogalacturonan-like polymers. Most of these latter polymers are apparently cross-linked in the wall via phenolic-ester and/or phenolic ether linkages, and these polymers appear to represent the major load-bearing network in these unusual cell walls. The surprising finding that plant cells can survive in the virtual absence of a major load-bearing network in their primary cell walls indicates that plants possess remarkable flexibility for tolerating changes in wall composition.

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