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Trends Plant Sci. 2010 Oct;15(10):546-53. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2010.06.004. Epub 2010 Jul 23.

Transport barriers made of cutin, suberin and associated waxes.

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Institute of Cellular and Molecular Botany, Department of Ecophysiology, University of Bonn, Kirschallee 1, D-53115 Bonn, Germany.


Cutinized leaf epidermal cells and suberized root cell walls form important lipophilic interfaces between the plant and its environment, significantly contributing to the regulation of water uptake and the transport of solutes in and out of the plant. A wealth of new molecular information on the genes and enzymes contributing to cutin, suberin and wax biosynthesis have become available within the past few years, which is examined in the context of the functional properties of these barriers in terms of transport and permeability. Recent progress made in measuring transport properties of cutinized and suberized barriers in plants is reviewed, and promising approaches obtained with Arabidopsis and potato that might link the molecular information with transport properties are suggested.

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