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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2006 Jun;9(3):281-7. Epub 2006 Apr 3.

Unraveling the complex network of cuticular structure and function.

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University of Lausanne, Department of Plant Molecular Biology, Biophore Building, UNIL-Sorge, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.


A hydrophobic cuticle is deposited at the outermost extracellular matrix of the epidermis in primary tissues of terrestrial plants. Besides forming a protective shield against the environment, the cuticle is potentially involved in several developmental processes during plant growth. A high degree of variation in cuticle composition and structure exists between different plant species and tissues. Lots of progress has been made recently in understanding the different steps of biosynthesis, transport, and deposition of cuticular components. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie cuticular function remain largely elusive.

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