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Cellulose Biosynthesis in Higher Plants and the Role of the Cytoskeleton

  1. Shundai Li,
  2. Ying Gu

Published Online: 15 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0023745

eLS

eLS

How to Cite

Li, S. and Gu, Y. 2012. Cellulose Biosynthesis in Higher Plants and the Role of the Cytoskeleton. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Center for Lignocellulose Structure and Formation/Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 OCT 2012

Abstract

Cellulose is a polysaccharide consisting of a linear chain of β (1[RIGHTWARDS ARROW]4) linked d-glucose and it is the most abundant polymer on earth. As a major structural component of the cell wall, cellulose accounts for about one-third of plant mass. The regulation of cellulose biosynthesis is essential to plant development. Cellulose is synthesised by the cellulose synthase (CESA) complex in the plasma membrane. This article reviews the composition and regulation of the cellulose synthase complex with a focus on the role of cytoskeleton in higher plants. In this article, the evolving views in the field of cellulose biosynthesis are discussed and the unresolved questions, such as in vitro cellulose synthesis, structure of CESA and mechanism underlying microtubule–microfibril alignment hypothesis, are highlighted.

Key Concepts:

  • Cellulose is a polysaccharide consisting of a linear chain of β (1[RIGHTWARDS ARROW]4) linked d-glucose.

  • Cellulose is synthesised by large membrane-bound protein complexes known as cellulose synthase complexes (CSCs).

  • Microtubule–microfibril alignment hypothesis states that there is a causal link between the orientation of cortical microtubules and nascent microfibrils.

  • Primary cell wall surrounds all plant cells and is formed during cell division and expansion.

  • Secondary cell wall is formed between the primary cell wall and the plasma membrane in cells that are subject to mechanical stress.

Keywords:

  • cellulose;
  • cellulose synthase complex;
  • rosette;
  • microtubule;
  • cytoskeleton