January 29, 2019
Bright prospects for next-generation biomaterials and biofuels
Plant cell walls are the largest source of land-based biological resources. Wood, cotton, paper pulp, for example, are used as materials for industrial products, but in recent years next-generation materials such as cellulose nanofibers and biofuels have also gained attention.
The National Institute of Genetics, the University of Tokyo and the RIKEN CSRS researchers focused their attention on the vessels that actively produce cell walls. They discovered two novel proteins, WAL and BDR1, that promote the formation of cell walls. The WAL protein promotes the assembly of actin filaments, which are responsible for the transport of cell wall components, while the BDR1 protein determines the location where WAL gathers actin filaments. In other words, it became clear that these proteins control the formation of cell walls by directing where actin fibers are collected.
If these proteins can be used to promote cell wall formation, it should lead to the development of plants with high levels of cell wall production.
Nature Communications doi:10.1038/s41467-019-08396-7
Y. Sugiyama, Y. Nagashima, M. Wakazaki, M. Sato, K. Toyooka, H. Fukuda, Y. Oda,
"A Rho-actin signaling pathway shapes cell wall boundaries in Arabidopsis xylem vessels".
Senior Technical Scientist
Mass Spectrometry and Microscopy Unit