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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2014 Apr;26:79-84. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2013.10.007. Epub 2013 Nov 12.

Plant cell wall engineering: applications in biofuel production and improved human health.

Author information

1
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, Waite Campus, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia.
2
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, Waite Campus, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia. Electronic address: geoff.fincher@adelaide.edu.au.

Abstract

Plant cell walls consist largely of cellulose, non-cellulosic polysaccharides and lignin. Concerted attempts are underway to convert wall polysaccharides from crop plant residues into renewable transport fuels and other valuable products, and to exploit the dietary benefits of cereal grain wall polysaccharides in human health. Attempts to improve plant performance for these applications have involved the manipulation of the levels and structures of wall components. Some successes in altering non-cellulosic polysaccharides has been achieved, but it would appear that drastic changes in cellulose are more difficult to engineer. Nevertheless, future prospects for both genetically modified (GM) and non-GM technologies to modify plant cell wall composition and structure remain bright, and will undoubtedly find applications beyond the current focus on human health and biofuel production.

PMID:
24679262
DOI:
10.1016/j.copbio.2013.10.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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