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Latest Cell wall Stories

2011-12-19 16:16:05

A 125-year debate on how nitrogen-fixing bacteria are able to breach the cell walls of legumes has been settled A 125-year debate on how nitrogen-fixing bacteria are able to breach the cell walls of legumes has been settled. A paper to be published on Monday by John Innes Centre scientists reports that plants themselves allow bacteria in. Once inside the right cells, these bacteria take nitrogen from the air and supply it to legumes in a form they can use, ammonia. Whether the bacteria...

2011-12-12 22:28:15

Multicellular organisms must have a means for cells to communicate with one another. Past research has shown that plants possess the ability to directly transfer materials between adjacent cells, through holes in their cell walls called plasmodesmata (PD). Now, a study published by Cell Press in the December issue of the journal Developmental Cell reveals one way to control the size of these PD channels, to prevent or allow the passage of important signals between cells, during plant...

2011-11-23 12:12:02

Blossom end rot on tomatoes and cucumbers, bitter-pit in apples — these unpleasant blemishes on fruits and vegetables not only compromises the flavor but also causes significant harvest losses every year. The characteristic blotches and spotting can be traced back to insufficient calcium uptake or faulty calcium transport within the plant. Consequently, the damage can occur even if the soil provides sufficient calcium. A team under the leadership of scientists from the University of...

2011-11-22 11:33:19

Implications for biofuels University of Georgia researchers have discovered that two proteins come together in an unexpected way to make a carbohydrate, a chain of sugar molecules, in plant cell walls. This fundamental discovery changes the way scientists think about how plant cell walls are made and opens a new door to converting plants to biofuels and other carbon-based products. In 2006, the UGA research team, led by Debra Mohnen, a faculty member in the UGA Complex Carbohydrate...

2011-11-16 09:40:56

Unraveling the mechanism of hemicellulose acetylation may lead to cheaper bioethanol In 1925, Henry Ford observed that fuel is present in all vegetative matter that can be fermented and predicted that Americans would someday grow their own fuel. Last year, global biofuel production reached 28 billion US gallons, and biofuel accounted for 2.7% of the world's transportation fuel. Bioethanol, a popular type of biofuel, is largely derived from sugary food crops such as corn and sugarcane....

2011-10-26 00:34:51

Taking a cue from Mother Nature, researchers at the Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center have undertaken a first-of-its-kind study of a naturally occurring phenomenon in trees to spur the development of more efficient bioenergy crops. Tension wood, which forms naturally in hardwood trees in response to bending stress, is known to possess unique features that render it desirable as a bioenergy feedstock. Although individual elements of tension wood have been studied previously,...

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2011-07-22 11:48:42

Pseudomonas aeruginosa targets opponents' cell walls and immunizes itself against its own weapons When competing for food and resources, bacteria employ elaborate strategies to keep rival cells at bay. Scientists have now identified a pathway that allows disease-causing bacteria to attack other bacterial cells by breaking down their cell wall. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a type of bacteria readily found in everyday environments. It easily forms colonies in a wide variety of settings, including...

2011-07-14 16:02:57

Many plants use similar genes to build their cell walls Plants have neither supportive bone tissue nor muscles, and yet they can form rigid structures like stalks and even tree trunks. This is due to the fact that plant cells are enveloped by a stable cell wall. The main component of the plant cell wall is cellulose, which represents almost 50 percent of the total cell wall material and, at one billion tonnes per year, is the most frequently produced macromolecule in nature. Very little is...

2011-07-12 12:57:22

Plants, too, have an immune system that protects them against diseases. The early detection of pathogens and the subsequent immune response, in particular at the cell wall, work as a protective shield. However, the pathogens that cause plant diseases have their weapons, too. Some are able to suppress the natural cell wall reaction in plants. "One particularly ingenious attacker, powdery mildew, can even reprogram cells in such a way that they adapt their architecture and metabolism to...

2011-06-16 21:35:32

Glycomics is the functional study of the entire set of sugars found in a given species. To some, the term may sound like a distant cousin of more familiar names such as genomics and proteomics. Indeed, while genomics and proteomics of several species have been extensively investigated in the last years, glycomics is still an emerging field. Now, a paper published in Science magazine by an international collaboration headed by Dr. Jose Estevez (University of Buenos Aires, Argentina) and...


Word of the Day
call-note
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'
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