Book Information: 367 pages
Publisher: BrownWalker Press
Plant cell walls are composed of complex carbohydrates, proteins, phenolic compounds, and inorganic ions, all of which play functional roles. Cellulose (1,4-beta-glucan) and callose (1,3-beta-glucan) are synthesized in the plasma membrane, while other polysaccharides are synthesized in the Golgi. Plant cell growth occurs with the loosening of the walls, which may be caused by several enzymatic actions. Plant development is related to the morphological changes of cells and tissue, which is caused by structural changes of the walls.
This remarkable collection presents the latest understanding of plant cell walls and cellulose synthesis from some of the world's best and most promising researchers. The book is divided into eight sections describing: Cell Wall Structure, Biosynthesis, Cell Walls in Development, Wall Assembly and Loosening, Cell Wall Genomics, Proteomics and Glycomics, Woody Wall Formation, Defense, and Biotechnologies. Each section contains several essays describing the topic and how it is important to a better understanding of plant biosynthesis. While the authors rely heavily on general models for understanding how the process works, the hope is to enhance "our understanding and ultimate improvement of crops such as cotton, trees, and major cereal or legume crops" writes Deborah Delmer, the author of the book's preface. While her interests have evolved to more practical applications of this research, she agrees that "hard work involving good, serious biochemistry will still be important to provide a final confirmation of the structure of the rosette, the function of each CESA within the rosette, and the role of other accessory proteins." She suggests that "one prediction is that work with enzymes like sucrose synthase may provide new insights into how carbon is partitioned in plant cells." This book is an excellent introduction to the plant cell wall for biochemists trained in this field and those interested in the practical questions that a better understanding of these processes will answer.
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