Special Issue "Plant Cell Wall Biology"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Thorsten Hamann
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Hogskoleringen 1, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
Tel. +47-73596096
Interests: cell wall signaling; cell wall integrity maintenance; cell morphogenesis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plant cell walls are intricately involved in many processes in plants like cell morphogenesis and responses to biotic and abiotic stress; they also form the largest carbon sinks on the planet, and are of interest to society with respect to sustainable energy and food production. This situation ensures that cell wall-related processes are of interest to a large number of plant scientists while also making research challenging due to the chemical complexity of cell walls, their dynamic nature, and their involvement in many processes. Recent years have seen the development and application of novel analytical technologies, which have fundamentally changed the options of the community to investigate cell wall-related processes. This has led to exciting new insights into the processes modifying cell wall composition and structure as well as the contributions of cell walls to processes like plant-pathogen interactions and cell elongation. In this Special Issue, articles are welcome that provide both a snapshot of recent developments in the field and some indications of exciting future research areas.

Prof. Thorsten Hamann
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Plants is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • plant cell wall metabolism
  • cell wall morphogenesis
  • cell wall signaling
  • plant cell wall integrity maintenance
  • carbohydrate metabolism
  • cellulose
  • pectin
  • cell wall-pathogen interactions
  • cell wall patterning
  • cell wall analysis
  • plant cell wall environment
  • lignin
  • xyloglucan
  • cell wall protein

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
The Induction and Roles Played by Phi Thickenings in Orchid Roots
Plants 2019, 8(12), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120574 - 05 Dec 2019
Abstract
Phi thickenings are specialised secondary wall thickenings present in the root cortex of many plant species, including both angiosperms and gymnosperms. While environmental stresses induce phi thickenings, their role(s) in the root remain unclear. Suggested functions include regulation of transport through the apoplast [...] Read more.
Phi thickenings are specialised secondary wall thickenings present in the root cortex of many plant species, including both angiosperms and gymnosperms. While environmental stresses induce phi thickenings, their role(s) in the root remain unclear. Suggested functions include regulation of transport through the apoplast in a manner similar to the Casparian strip, limiting fungal infections, and providing mechanical support to the root. We investigated phi thickening induction and function in Miltoniopsis sp., an epiphytic orchid. As movement of a fluorescent tracer through the apoplast was not blocked by phi thickenings, and as phi thickenings developed in the roots of sterile cultures in the absence of fungus and did not prevent fungal colonisation of cortical cells, the phi thickenings in Miltoniopsis did not function as a barrier. Phi thickenings, absent in roots grown on agar, remained absent when plants were transplanted to moist soil, but were induced when plants were transplanted to well-drained media, and by the application of water stress. We suggest that it is likely that phi thickenings stabilise to the root during water stress. Nevertheless, the varied phi thickening induction responses present in different plant species suggest that the phi thickenings may play multiple adaptive roles depending on species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Cell Wall Biology)
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Open AccessArticle
Arabinogalactan-Proteins from the Liverwort Marchantia polymorpha L., a Member of a Basal Land Plant Lineage, Are Structurally Different to Those of Angiosperms
Plants 2019, 8(11), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110460 - 29 Oct 2019
Abstract
The thalloid liverwort Marchantia polymorpha as a member of a basal land plant lineage has to cope with the challenge of terrestrial life. Obviously, the plant cell wall has been strongly involved in the outstanding evolutionary process of water-to-land-transition. AGPs are signaling glycoproteins [...] Read more.
The thalloid liverwort Marchantia polymorpha as a member of a basal land plant lineage has to cope with the challenge of terrestrial life. Obviously, the plant cell wall has been strongly involved in the outstanding evolutionary process of water-to-land-transition. AGPs are signaling glycoproteins of the cell wall, which seem to be ubiquitous in seed plants and might play a role in adaption to abiotic and biotic stress situations. Therefore, we investigated the cell wall composition of Marchantia polymorpha with special focus on structural characterization of arabinogalactan-proteins. The Marchantia AGP shows typical features known from seed plant AGPs like precipitation with β-glucosyl-Yariv’s reagent, a protein moiety with hydroxyproline and a carbohydrate part with 1,3,6-linked galactose and terminal arabinose residues. On the other hand, striking differences to AGPs of angiosperms are the occurrence of terminal 3-O-methyl-rhamnose and a highly branched galactan lacking appreciable amounts of 1,6-linked galactose. Binding of different AGP-antibodies (JIM13, KM1, LM2, LM6, LM14, LM26, and MAC207) to Marchantia AGP was investigated and confirmed structural differences between liverwort and angiosperm AGP, possibly due to deviating functions of these signaling molecules in the different taxonomic groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Cell Wall Biology)
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Insights into FaEG1, a Strawberry Endoglucanase Enzyme Expressed during Strawberry Fruit Ripening
Plants 2019, 8(6), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8060140 - 28 May 2019
Abstract
The endo-β-1,4-glucanases (EGs) that belong to the glycosyl hydrolase family 9 (GH9) have roles in cell wall synthesis, remodeling and degradation. Previous studies have suggested that EGs may play a key role in the ripening of different fruits including strawberries. In this study, [...] Read more.
The endo-β-1,4-glucanases (EGs) that belong to the glycosyl hydrolase family 9 (GH9) have roles in cell wall synthesis, remodeling and degradation. Previous studies have suggested that EGs may play a key role in the ripening of different fruits including strawberries. In this study, we used reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) assays to determine the transcript accumulation of an endo-β-1,4-glucanase (FaEG1) during fruit development in two different strawberry ‘Camarosa’ and ‘Monterey’ with contrasting softening ratios. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that FaEG1 belongs to the α group of the GH9 family with other proteins previously described with roles in elongation, abscission and ripening. Comparative modeling was used to obtain the FaEG1 structure. The model displays a α-barrel–type structure that is typical of the GH9 enzyme family, and comprises 12 α-helices, 2 310 helices and 6 β-sheets. The catalytic residues were oriented to the solvent in the middle of an open groove. Protein–ligand interactions were explored with cellulose and two xyloglucans as ligands; the results suggest that the FaEG1-cellulose and FaEG1-XXXGXXXG (the most abundant xyloglucan in strawberries) complexes were more stable complexes than XXFGXXFG. The cell wall degradation was observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The data are congruent with the probable role of the FaEG1 protein in the dissembly of the cellulose-hemicellulose fraction during the ripening of strawberry fruit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Cell Wall Biology)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Cytoskeleton and Its Role in Determining Cellulose Microfibril Angle in Secondary Cell Walls of Woody Tree Species
Plants 2020, 9(1), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9010090 - 10 Jan 2020
Abstract
Recent advances in our understanding of the molecular control of secondary cell wall (SCW) formation have shed light on molecular mechanisms that underpin domestication traits related to wood formation. One such trait is the cellulose microfibril angle (MFA), an important wood quality determinant [...] Read more.
Recent advances in our understanding of the molecular control of secondary cell wall (SCW) formation have shed light on molecular mechanisms that underpin domestication traits related to wood formation. One such trait is the cellulose microfibril angle (MFA), an important wood quality determinant that varies along tree developmental phases and in response to gravitational stimulus. The cytoskeleton, mainly composed of microtubules and actin filaments, collectively contribute to plant growth and development by participating in several cellular processes, including cellulose deposition. Studies in Arabidopsis have significantly aided our understanding of the roles of microtubules in xylem cell development during which correct SCW deposition and patterning are essential to provide structural support and allow for water transport. In contrast, studies relating to SCW formation in xylary elements performed in woody trees remain elusive. In combination, the data reviewed here suggest that the cytoskeleton plays important roles in determining the exact sites of cellulose deposition, overall SCW patterning and more specifically, the alignment and orientation of cellulose microfibrils. By relating the reviewed evidence to the process of wood formation, we present a model of microtubule participation in determining MFA in woody trees forming reaction wood (RW). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Cell Wall Biology)
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Open AccessReview
The Suitability of Orthogonal Hosts to Study Plant Cell Wall Biosynthesis
Plants 2019, 8(11), 516; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110516 - 17 Nov 2019
Abstract
Plant cells are surrounded by an extracellular matrix that consists mainly of polysaccharides. Many molecular components involved in plant cell wall polymer synthesis have been identified, but it remains largely unknown how these molecular players function together to define the length and decoration [...] Read more.
Plant cells are surrounded by an extracellular matrix that consists mainly of polysaccharides. Many molecular components involved in plant cell wall polymer synthesis have been identified, but it remains largely unknown how these molecular players function together to define the length and decoration pattern of a polysaccharide. Synthetic biology can be applied to answer questions beyond individual glycosyltransferases by reconstructing entire biosynthetic machineries required to produce a complete wall polysaccharide. Recently, this approach was successful in establishing the production of heteromannan from several plant species in an orthogonal host—a yeast—illuminating the role of an auxiliary protein in the biosynthetic process. In this review we evaluate to what extent a selection of organisms from three kingdoms of life (Bacteria, Fungi and Animalia) might be suitable for the synthesis of plant cell wall polysaccharides. By identifying their key attributes for glycoengineering as well as analyzing the glycosidic linkages of their native polymers, we present a valuable comparison of their key advantages and limitations for the production of different classes of plant polysaccharides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Cell Wall Biology)
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