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J Plant Res. 1998 Mar;111(1101):167-77.

Apoplast as the site of response to environmental signals.

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Department of Biology, Osaka City University, Japan.


When the life cycle of plants is influenced by various environmental signals, the mechanical properties of the cell wall are greatly changed. These signals also modify the levels and structure of the cell wall constituents and such modifications are supposed to be the cause of the changes in the wall mechanical properties. These changes in the cell wall, the major component of the apoplast, can be recognized as the response of plants to environmental signals. The analysis of the mechanism leading to the response suggests that the apoplast is involved not only in the response but also in the perception and transduction of environmental signals in concert with the receptors of signals located on the plasma membrane. Thus, the apoplast plays a principal role in the communication of plants with the outer world and enables the plants to adapt themselves and survive in the environment full of stresses.

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