Nutrients are critical for plants to grow and develop, and nutrient depletion severely affects crop yield. In order to optimize nutrient acquisition, plants adapt their growth and root architecture. Changes in growth are determined by modifications in the cell walls surrounding every plant cell. The plant cell wall, which is largely composed of complex polysaccharides, is essential for plants to attain their shape and to protect cells against the environment. Within the cell wall, cellulose strands form microfibrils that act as a framework for other wall components, including hemicelluloses, pectins, proteins, and, in some cases, callose, lignin, and suberin. Cell wall composition varies, depending on cell and tissue type. It is governed by synthesis, deposition and remodeling of wall components, and determines the physical and structural properties of the cell wall. How nutrient status affects cell wall synthesis and organization, and thus plant growth and morphology, remains poorly understood. In this review, we aim to summarize and synthesize research on the adaptation of root cell walls in response to nutrient availability and the potential role of cell walls in nutrient sensing.
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