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Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Mar 27;14(4):6960-80. doi: 10.3390/ijms14046960.

Impact of cell wall composition on maize resistance to pests and diseases.

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Misión Biológica de Galicia (CSIC), Pontevedra E-36080, Spain.


In cereals, the primary cell wall is built of a skeleton of cellulosic microfibrils embedded in a matrix of hemicelluloses and smaller amounts of pectins, glycoproteins and hydroxycinnamates. Later, during secondary wall development, p-coumaryl, coniferyl and sinapyl alcohols are copolymerized to form mixed lignins. Several of these cell wall components show a determinative role in maize resistance to pest and diseases. However, defense mechanisms are very complex and vary among the same plant species, different tissues or even the same tissue at different developmental stages. Thus, it is important to highlight that the role of the cell wall components needs to be tested in diverse genotypes and specific tissues where the feeding or attacking by the pathogen takes place. Understanding the role of cell wall constituents as defense mechanisms may allow modifications of crops to withstand pests and diseases.

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