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Plant Mol Biol. 2001 Sep;47(1-2):209-19.

Mutations of the secondary cell wall.

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University of Manchester, School of Biological Science, UK.


It has not been possible to isolate a number of crucial enzymes involved in plant cell wall synthesis. Recent progress in identifying some of these steps has been overcome by the isolation of mutants defective in various aspects of cell wall synthesis and the use of these mutants to identify the corresponding genes. Secondary cell walls offer numerous advantages for genetic analysis of plant cell walls. It is possible to recover very severe mutants since the plants remain viable. In addition, although variation in secondary cell wall composition occurs between different species and between different cell types, the composition of the walls is relatively simple compared to primary cell walls. Despite these advantages, relatively few secondary cell wall mutations have been described to date. The only secondary cell wall mutations characterised to date, in which the basis of the abnormality is known, have defects in either the control of secondary cell wall deposition or secondary cell wall cellulose or lignin biosynthesis. These mutants have, however, provided essential information on secondary cell wall biosynthesis.

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