Tagged: Cell wall







A close-up view of Cardmine hirsuta’s flight jacket

Being rooted, plants have very little opportunity to travel. They can as pollen to find a mate, and also as seeds. In the case of Cardamine hirsuta, that travel is explosive. The plant stores energy in the pericarp of the fruit. When fruit pod fractures, all that energy is released in one moment, flinging the seeds up to five metres away. While there has been research on the mechanism for explosive seed dispersal, there hasn’t been so much work on how the seeds are adapted. Until now. Ulla Neumann and Angela Hay have examined the seeds of Cardamine hirsuta microscopically,...

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Role of extensin arabinosylation in root defence

Extensins are hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins thought to strengthen the plant cell wall, one of the first barriers against pathogens, through intra- and intermolecular cross-links. The glycan moiety of extensins is believed to confer the correct structural conformation to the glycoprotein, leading to self-assembly within the cell wall that helps limit microbial adherence and invasion. However, this role is not clearly established. Castilleux et al. used Arabidopsis thaliana mutants impaired in extensin arabinosylation to investigate the role of extensin arabinosylation in root–microbe interactions. Mutant and wild-type roots were stimulated to elicit an immune response with flagellin 22 and immunolabelled with a set...

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wheat field

Climate Change and Carbon Sequestration in Soils: Can Phytoliths Help?

In October 2018 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its report on the feasibility of us keeping under the 1.5°C target suggested by the United Nations at the Paris climate change meeting in 2015. The IPCC gave the world around 12 years to radically cut carbon emissions or we will face very serious climate disruption. However, they were not only interested in cutting the burning of fossil fuels, but also in “negative emissions”, how we can take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Plants and soils are huge carbon stores and are getting a lot of attention as...

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Functional and chemical characterization of XAF

Plants rely on stiff cells walls for support. But these same cell walls have to be flexible to grow when required. Nguyen-Phan and Fry examine a chemical that regulates how this happens. Plant cell walls have many demands put upon them. As plants lack skeletons, the job of supporting the plant rests on their rigidity. However, plants also need to be able to move, despite having no muscles. The same plant cell walls, therefore, also need flexibility. A common problem cell walls face is water. When a plant needs to flex, it can fill its vacuoles up with water. This...

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Cross-sections of legume leaves

Sink-source imbalance and down-regulation of photosynthesis

Sink-source imbalance could cause accumulation of total non-structural carbohydrates (TNC) and down-regulation of photosynthesis. Sugiura et al. investigate how sink-source imbalance causes photosynthetic down-regulation in soybean (Glycine max), French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), and azuki bean (Vigna angularis). Among the three legume plants, maximum photosynthesis was down-regulated with increase in TNC only in French bean, whereas decrease in sink-source ratio caused anatomical changes and increase in cell wall content in source leaves, especially in soybean. The results suggest that down-regulation of photosynthesis is caused not only physiologically such as through a decrease in Rubisco, but also morphologically, such as through an...

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Apple and cells

Arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs) and pectins in apple fruits during postharvest storage

Changes in the arrangement of cell wall components determine cell wall properties (integrity, stiffness), thereby affecting the macro properties of fruits, which are important for consumers and industry. The immunocytochemical study was conducted to elucidate the distribution of arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs) and pectic polysaccharides contained in apple (Malus x domestica) fruits during senescence process. Microscopy observations showed spatio-temporal changes in the localization and dependencies between all examined constituents. Leszczuk et al. propose that AGPs are involved in establishment of the cell wall – plasma membrane continuum.

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