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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(6), 10958-10978; doi:10.3390/ijms140610958

Integrated -Omics: A Powerful Approach to Understanding the Heterogeneous Lignification of Fibre Crops

Department Environment and Agro-biotechnologies (EVA), Centre de Recherche Public-Gabriel Lippmann, 41, Rue du Brill, L-4422 Belvaux, Luxembourg
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 April 2013 / Revised: 15 May 2013 / Accepted: 17 May 2013 / Published: 24 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research in Plant Secondary Metabolism)
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Lignin and cellulose represent the two main components of plant secondary walls and the most abundant polymers on Earth. Quantitatively one of the principal products of the phenylpropanoid pathway, lignin confers high mechanical strength and hydrophobicity to plant walls, thus enabling erect growth and high-pressure water transport in the vessels. Lignin is characterized by a high natural heterogeneity in its composition and abundance in plant secondary cell walls, even in the different tissues of the same plant. A typical example is the stem of fibre crops, which shows a lignified core enveloped by a cellulosic, lignin-poor cortex. Despite the great value of fibre crops for humanity, however, still little is known on the mechanisms controlling their cell wall biogenesis, and particularly, what regulates their spatially-defined lignification pattern. Given the chemical complexity and the heterogeneous composition of fibre crops’ secondary walls, only the use of multidisciplinary approaches can convey an integrated picture and provide exhaustive information covering different levels of biological complexity. The present review highlights the importance of combining high throughput -omics approaches to get a complete understanding of the factors regulating the lignification heterogeneity typical of fibre crops.
Keywords: systems biology; -omics; fibre crops; lignin; bast fibres; secondary cell wall systems biology; -omics; fibre crops; lignin; bast fibres; secondary cell wall

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Guerriero, G.; Sergeant, K.; Hausman, J.-F. Integrated -Omics: A Powerful Approach to Understanding the Heterogeneous Lignification of Fibre Crops. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 10958-10978.

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