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Plant Cell Rep. 2016 May;35(5):949-65. doi: 10.1007/s00299-016-1948-4. Epub 2016 Feb 18.

Expansins: roles in plant growth and potential applications in crop improvement.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory for Tobacco Gene Resources, Tobacco Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Qingdao, 266101, People's Republic of China.
2
Key Laboratory for Tobacco Gene Resources, Tobacco Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Qingdao, 266101, People's Republic of China. kongyingzhen@163.com.

Abstract

Results from various expansin related studies have demonstrated that expansins present an opportunity to improve various crops in many different aspects ranging from yield and fruit ripening to improved stress tolerance. The recent advances in expansin studies were reviewed. Besides producing the strength that is needed by the plants, cell walls define cell shape, cell size and cell function. Expansins are cell wall proteins which consist of four sub families; α-expansin, β-expansin, expansin-like A and expansin-like B. These proteins mediate cell wall loosening and they are present in all plants and in some microbial organisms and other organisms like snails. Decades after their initial discovery in cucumber, it is now clear that these small proteins have diverse biological roles in plants. Through their ability to enable the local sliding of wall polymers by reducing adhesion between adjacent wall polysaccharides and the part they play in cell wall remodeling after cytokinesis, it is now clear that expansins are required in almost all plant physiological development aspects from germination to fruiting. This is shown by the various reports from different studies using various molecular biology approaches such as gene achieve these many roles through their non-enzymatic wall loosening ability. This paper reviews and summarizes some of the reported functions of expansins and outlines the potential uses of expansins in crop improvement programs.

KEYWORDS:

Abiotic stress; Biotic stress; Cell wall; Cell wall loosening; Crop improvement; Expansin; Plant growth

PMID:
26888755
PMCID:
PMC4833835
DOI:
10.1007/s00299-016-1948-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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