- I. Introduction
- II. Transcriptional regulation of genes encoding lignin biosynthetic enzymes
- III. Co-ordinate regulation of genes encoding lignin biosynthetic enzymes
- IV. Mutants with altered spatial and temporal control of lignification
- V. Conclusion
Lignins are complex, three-dimensional polymers embedded in the cell walls of specialised plant cells, where they play important roles in plant growth and development. Plants must possess mechanisms to coordinate lignin deposition so that its synthesis occurs at the appropriate time and place, in response to endogenous and exogenous cues. Here we consider the genetic basis of the control of lignin deposition. We focus on the transcriptional regulation of lignification, considering how the genes encoding the lignin biosynthetic pathway might be co-ordinately controlled, and the transcription factors that are likely to be involved. We also discuss the mechanisms regulating lignification that have been revealed by mutants with altered lignin deposition. We conclude that, while transcriptional regulation is a common feature in the control of lignification, there are many different regulators that may bring about this common mode of regulation.