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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2008

Wood cell walls: biosynthesis, developmental dynamics and their implications for wood properties

Mellerowicz, Ewa J.; Sundberg, Bjoern


Progress has been made toward understanding the biosynthesis and modifications of the cellulose and the hemicellulose/pectin matrix of woody cell walls (and hence wood properties) by identifying 1600 carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZYmes) in Populus, and pinpointing key candidates involved in various developmental stages of wood formation. Transgenic modifications of primary wall modifying enzymes have demonstrated on the possibility of shaping the dimension of wood cells. Candidates for the biosynthesis of secondary wall matrix have been identified, and the cellulose microfibril angle of wood fibers has been modified. In addition, molecular analysis of the plastic development of wood cell walls has provided further information regarding the mechanisms regulating their structure.

Published in

Current Opinion in Plant Biology
2008, Volume: 11, number: 3, pages: 293-300