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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2009 Dec;20(9):1064-73. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2009.05.008. Epub 2009 Jun 2.

Plant cell walls: Protecting the barrier from degradation by microbial enzymes.

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Division of Gene Technology, Department of Biosystems, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 21, BE-3001 Leuven, Belgium.


Plant cell walls are predominantly composed of polysaccharides, which are connected in a strong, yet resilient network. They determine the size and shape of plant cells and form the interface between the cell and its often hostile environment. To penetrate the cell wall and thus infect plants, most phytopathogens secrete numerous cell wall degrading enzymes. Conversely, as a first line of defense, plant cell walls contain an array of inhibitors of these enzymes. Scientific knowledge on these inhibitors significantly progressed in the past years and this review is meant to give a comprehensive overview of plant inhibitors against microbial cell wall degrading enzymes and their role in plant protection.

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