A survey of cellulose biosynthesis in higher plants
Cellulose plays a central role in plant development and its biosynthesis represents one of the most important biochemical processes in plant biology. However, the corresponding molecular mechanisms are not well understood, despite the progress made in the past years in the identification of genes that code for the catalytic subunits of the cellulose synthases and other proteins potentially involved in cellulose formation. A major bottleneck is the high instability of the cellulose synthase complexes and their location in the plasma membrane. Additional efforts are currently being made to unravel the mechanisms of cellulose biosynthesis. Indeed, understanding how cellulose is formed and how its crystallinity is achieved is relevant not only for studying plant development, but also for improving the digestibility of the plant biomass, which is foreseen as an alternative to fossil fuels for the production of energy. This review summarizes the major unanswered questions related to the process of cellulose biosynthesis, and describes the recent progress that has been made in the area through the combination of biochemical approaches and molecular genetics.
- Plant biotechnology
Plant biotechnology 25(3), 315-322, 2008-06-01
Japanese Society for Plant Cell and Molecular Biology