Latest Cell wall Stories

2013-09-20 11:28:31

Special microscope used to reveal hidden aspects of plant anatomy Why don't trees "bleed" to death when they are injured? Researchers from Virginia Tech, the Georg-August University of Gottingen, Germany, and the Jackson Laboratory of Bar Harbor, Maine, have discovered how "check valves" in wood cells control sap flow and protect trees when they are injured. The study, featured on the cover of the September issue of the American Journal of Botany, used a special microscope to reveal...

2013-04-01 10:26:09

When blessed with a resource in overwhelming abundance it´s generally a good idea to make valuable use of that resource. Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundant organic material on Earth. For thousands of years it has been used as animal feed, and for the past two centuries has been a staple of the paper industry. This abundant resource, however, could also supply the sugars needed to produce advanced biofuels that can supplement or replace fossil fuels, providing several key...

Boosting Biofuel Production By Boosting Galactan Sugars
2012-12-21 17:18:07

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Collaboration at JBEI Identifies the First Enzyme Linked to Galactan Synthesis Galactan is a polymer of galactose, a six-carbon sugar that can be readily fermented by yeast into ethanol and is a target of interest for researchers in advanced biofuels produced from cellulosic biomass. Now an international collaboration led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)´s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) has identified the first enzyme...

2012-12-10 13:00:36

Future wood production quality tied to cambial function and regulation As large organisms, trees face some remarkable challenges, particularly regarding long-distance transport and communication. In addition to moving water and nutrients from their roots to their leaves, they must also integrate cell-to-cell communication over large areas. Furthermore, in order to function as a single, cohesive organism they must be able to effectively and efficiently send vital substances–such as...

New Access To Abundant Biomass For Advanced Biofuels
2012-11-13 12:47:24

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory After cellulose, xylan is the most abundant biomass material on Earth, and therefore represents an enormous potential source of stored solar energy for the production of advance biofuels. A major roadblock, however, has been extracting xylan from plant cell walls. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)´s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have taken a significant step towards removing this roadblock by identifying a gene in rice plants...

2012-07-30 15:40:57

UCLA life scientists, working with colleagues in China, have discovered a new method to quickly assess plants' drought tolerance. The method works for many diverse species growing around the world. The research, published in the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution, may revolutionize the ability to survey plant species for their ability to withstand drought, said senior author Lawren Sack, a UCLA professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. "This method can be applied rapidly and...

Genetic Reservoir Of Heat-Loving Bacteria Tapped Into By BESC researchers
2012-07-02 14:39:12

The identification of key proteins in a group of heat-loving bacteria by researchers at the Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center could help light a fire under next-generation biofuel production. Scientists have long been on the hunt for cost-effective ways to break down complex plant material such as switchgrass in order to access sugars that are fermented to make biofuels. Conventional processes involve the addition of commercially produced enzymes to break down the cellulose....

2012-04-06 11:11:11

New research by UCLA life scientists could lead to predictions of which plant species will escape extinction from climate change. Droughts are worsening around the world, posing a great challenge to plants in all ecosystems, said Lawren Sack, a UCLA professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and senior author of the research. Scientists have debated for more than a century how to predict which species are most vulnerable. Sack and two members of his laboratory have made a fundamental...

2012-02-29 00:39:29

Genetic mutations to cellulose in plants could improve the conversion of cellulosic biomass into biofuels, according to a research team that included two Iowa State University chemists. Mei Hong, an Iowa State professor of chemistry and an associate of the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, and Tuo Wang, an Iowa State graduate student in chemistry, contributed their expertise in solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to the study. The study was led by Seth DeBolt,...

2012-02-14 00:05:41

Fungi with additional foreign genes have been created at the Vienna University of Technology - They can now turn chitin into pharmaceuticals Usually, mould fungi are nothing to cheer about — but now they can be used as "chemical factories". Scientists at the Vienna University of Technology have succeeded in introducing bacterial genes into the fungus Trichoderma, so that the fungus can now produce important chemicals for the pharmaceutical industry. The raw material used by the...

Word of the Day
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'