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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Dairy Forage Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #361053

Research Project: Redesigning Forage Genetics, Management, and Harvesting for Efficiency, Profit, and Sustainability in Dairy and Bioenergy Production Systems

Location: Dairy Forage Research

Title: Cell culture systems: Invaluable tools to unravel lignin formation and cell wall properties

item PESQUET, EDOUARD - Stockholm University
item WAGNER, ARMIN - New Zealand Forest Research Institute
item Grabber, John

Submitted to: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2019
Publication Date: 4/1/2019
Citation: Pesquet, E., Wagner, A., Grabber, J.H. 2019. Cell culture systems: Invaluable tools to unravel lignin formation and cell wall properties. Current Opinion in Biotechnology. 56:215-222.

Interpretive Summary: Plants are complex organisms that are composed of many different types of cells arranged into various tissues and organs. All plant cells are surrounded by a cell wall, which among other roles provides structural support and protection to cells. This invited review paper describes how plant cells grown in a liquid medium have been used to study and better understand the complicated process of how cell walls are formed in plants. These studies have also revealed how the chemical makeup of cell walls affects the breakdown of their polysaccharide components into sugars by microbes, which in turn may be utilized by animals or used in industrial processes to produce biofuels or chemicals.

Technical Abstract: Although the use of cell culture systems in Plant Biology and Biotechnology has been limited compared to other areas of Life Sciences, plant cell cultures capable of lignifying on demand have proven invaluable in unravelling the lignification process and its impact on biomass utilization. Inducible cell cultures have enabled researchers to decipher multiple levels of cellular control used in and between plant cells to define the spatio-temporal deposition, composition, structure, and quantity of lignin. Artificially lignified cell cultures have also been used to determine the effects of lignin composition on the susceptibility of cell walls to chemical treatments, and digestion by rumen microflora or fungal enzymes. Plant cell cultures have enabled the fast-tracking of lignin-related research and provided insights into the lignification processes that could not have been easily obtained by using whole plants as model systems.