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Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2014;65:69-94. doi: 10.1146/annurev-arplant-050213-040240. Epub 2014 Feb 21.

The cell biology of cellulose synthesis.

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Department of Botany, University of British Columbia, Vancouver V6T 1Z4, Canada; email:


Plant stature and development are governed by cell proliferation and directed cell growth. These parameters are determined largely by cell wall characteristics. Cellulose microfibrils, composed of hydrogen-bonded β-1,4 glucans, are key components for anisotropic growth in plants. Cellulose is synthesized by plasma membrane-localized cellulose synthase complexes. In higher plants, these complexes are assembled into hexameric rosettes in intracellular compartments and secreted to the plasma membrane. Here, the complexes typically track along cortical microtubules, which may guide cellulose synthesis, until the complexes are inactivated and/or internalized. Determining the regulatory aspects that control the behavior of cellulose synthase complexes is vital to understanding directed cell and plant growth and to tailoring cell wall content for industrial products, including paper, textiles, and fuel. In this review, we summarize and discuss cellulose synthesis and regulatory aspects of the cellulose synthase complex, focusing on Arabidopsis thaliana.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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