Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology Division Seminar
By Lutz Neumetzler
Visiting research fellow
Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology Division
1400 H, Wednesday, 17 October 2012
Room A, D.L. Umali Building
Plant cell walls provide rigidity, shape the habitus of an organ, and, in turn, form the plant body. They are designed to fulfill a variety of functions, among them, water and nutrient transport in heights up to 100 meters, resisting enormous negative pressure. During the life of the plant, different phases such as cell division, cell expansion, and cell differentiation require the cell wall to be flexible, expandable, and strong at the same time. This is achieved by a dynamic interplay between cell wall-synthesizing glycosyltransferases located in the Golgi Apparatus and in the Plasmamembrane; and glycosylhydrolases that remodel and fine-tune cell wall structure in the apoplast. Plant cell walls are comprised mostly of carbohydrate polymers and are thus one of the biggest sink compartments in the plant body. These fixed energy and carbon resources can be used in sustainable ways. In order to ease saccharification or deconstruction of cell walls for, e.g., bioethanol production, we attempted to understand regulatory and developmental programs by modifying receptor-like kinases and transcription factors in planta. Within the European consortium initiative Knowledge Based Bio-Economy (KBBE), Arabidopsis and Brachypodium distachyon, an annual grass model species, were used in a study to compare cell wall metabolism in monocots and dicots.