Recent Posts

Introducing curcumin biosynthesis in Arabidopsis enhances lignocellulosic biomass processing (Nature Plants)

Lignin, polymerized from aromatic monolignols, provides strength to cell walls but its resistance to enzymatic degradation thwarts efforts to isolate cellulosic carbohydrates from cell walls for biofuels and other applications. It has been shown that lignin’s properties can be altered by the incorporation…

Xylan and lignin deposition are independent of cellulose in the secondary cell wall (Plant Cell)

The secondary cell wall (SCW) plays an important role in the structural integrity of plants and is key to efficient water conductivity. Despite the important role of the SCW, little known about how and when SCW components are assembled. Currently, it is understood that cellulose deposition is a precursor…

Reviews: The regulation of cellulose biosynthesis in plants, and secondary cell wall biosynthesis

Plant cell walls are complex and somewhat difficult to study, but also idespensible for plants and central to many of the ways that people use plants (from wood to fibers to fuels). Two new articles review diverse aspects of plant cell wall synthesis. Polko and Kieber (Plant Cell 10.1105/tpc.18.00760…

CRISPR Mutants Shed Light on Pectin’s Role in Tomato Fruit Softening

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruits undergo pronounced softening during ripening. Softening is important for flavor development and overall palatability, but also impacts fruit storage, transportability, and shelf life. Shelf life is a particularly important quality trait of tomato fruits affected by…

Special Issue - Plant Biotechnology, focus on lignin (Curr Opin Biotechnol) ($)

A forthcoming issue of Current Opinion in Biotechnology features a set of reviews on the topic of lignin, particularly its chemistry and applications. Lignin is a complex set of polymers that provide structural support to vascular plants (See Renault et al. for insights into lignin's evolutionary origins).…

Sweet and Juicy: Identification and Origins of the Dry Alleles in Sorghum

Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) is the fifth most important cereal crop globally and is considered to be the “camel among crops” due to its ability to flourish in low-nutrient soils and to withstand prolonged drought. Cultivated varieties are phenotypically and morphological diverse. Consequently, sorghum…

Cellulose Synthase Stoichiometry Varies among Species and Tissues

Cellulose, the most abundant biopolymer on earth, is an important structural component of the primary and secondary cell wall of plant cells. It is also found in animals (tunicates), oomycetes, and bacteria (Kumar and Turner, 2015). Besides providing support and rigidity in living organisms, cellulose…

Enzyme helps as a transcription factor in lignin production

Arjen Dijkgraaf | Wednesday, July 4, 2018 (Originally published in C2W Boeken. Translation by Google Translate) In poplars a protein appears to have a bizarre double function: it makes building blocks for amino acids but also regulates the production of lignin. It could be a new way to create…

A 5-enolpyruvylshikimate 3-phosphate synthase functions as a transcriptional repressor in Populus

Here’s a fascinating story; starting with an association study, Xie et al. found that a protein previously identified as an enzyme involved in phenylpropanoid metabolism (specifically, 5-enolpyruvylshikimate 3-phosphate synthase, EPSP) also acts as a transcriptional regulator of this pathway, not only…