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Front Plant Sci. 2012 Jun 6;3:121. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2012.00121. eCollection 2012.

Cell wall mechanics and growth control in plants: the role of pectins revisited.

Author information

1
Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin, UMR1318 INRA/AgroParisTech, Saclay Plant Sciences, INRA Centre de Versailles, Versailles, France.

Abstract

How is the extensibility of growing plant cell walls regulated? In the past, most studies have focused on the role of the cellulose/xyloglucan network and the enigmatic wall-loosening agents expansins. Here we review first how in the closest relatives of the land plants, the Charophycean algae, cell wall synthesis is coupled to cell wall extensibility by a chemical Ca(2+)-exchange mechanism between Ca(2+)-pectate complexes. We next discuss evidence for the existence in terrestrial plants of a similar "primitive" Ca(2+)-pectate-based growth control mechanism in parallel to the more recent, land plant-specific, expansin-dependent process.

KEYWORDS:

Chara corallina; pectin; pectin methylesterase; wall extensibility

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