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Front Plant Sci. 2018 Apr 4;9:399. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.00399. eCollection 2018.

Current Models for Transcriptional Regulation of Secondary Cell Wall Biosynthesis in Grasses.

Rao X1,2, Dixon RA1,2,3.

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BioDiscovery Institute and Department of Biological Sciences, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, United States.
BioEnergy Science Center, United States Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, TN, United States.
Center for Bioenergy Innovation, United States Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, TN, United States.


Secondary cell walls mediate many crucial biological processes in plants including mechanical support, water and nutrient transport and stress management. They also provide an abundant resource of renewable feed, fiber, and fuel. The grass family contains the most important food, forage, and biofuel crops. Understanding the regulatory mechanism of secondary wall formation in grasses is necessary for exploiting these plants for agriculture and industry. Previous research has established a detailed model of the secondary wall regulatory network in the dicot model species Arabidopsis thaliana. Grasses, branching off from the dicot ancestor 140-150 million years ago, display distinct cell wall morphology and composition, suggesting potential for a different secondary wall regulation program from that established for dicots. Recently, combined application of molecular, genetic and bioinformatics approaches have revealed more transcription factors involved in secondary cell wall biosynthesis in grasses. Compared with the dicots, grasses exhibit a relatively conserved but nevertheless divergent transcriptional regulatory program to activate their secondary cell wall development and to coordinate secondary wall biosynthesis with other physiological processes.


grasses; lignin biosynthesis; secondary cell wall; secondary cell wall regulation; transcription factor

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