Related topics: biofuel · ethanol

What makes plant cell walls both strong and extensible?

A plant cell wall's unique ability to expand without weakening or breaking—a quality required for plant growth—is due to the movement of its cellulose skeleton, according to new research that models the cell wall. The ...

How plants find their symbiotic partners

What would it be like to produce fertilizer in your own basement? Leguminous plants, like peas, beans and various species of clover, obtain the organic nitrogen they need for their growth from symbiotic soil bacteria via ...

Novel cellulose finding may lead to new chemicals, biofuels

A multi-institutional research group led by two Penn State faculty members has identified, for the first time, how cellulose crystals orient themselves relative to the cell wall in plants, with potential implications for ...

Newly discovered enzyme helps make valuable bioactive saponins

Many plants, including legumes, make naturally occurring chemicals called saponins. For example, the medicinal plant licorice produces the saponin glycyrrhizin, a potent natural sweetener that also has antiviral and other ...

Study show what makes plant cell walls compress and stretch

New findings about the building blocks of plant fibers open the door to advances in material engineering as well as food and agriculture, a Swedish-Australian research collaboration reported. The findings, published today ...

New building block in plant wall construction

University of Adelaide researchers as part of a multidisciplinary, international team, have uncovered a new biochemical mechanism fundamental to plant life.

page 1 from 18

Cell wall

A cell wall is a tough, flexible and sometimes fairly rigid layer that surrounds some types of cells. It is located outside the cell membrane and provides these cells with structural support and protection, and also acts as a filtering mechanism. A major function of the cell wall is to act as a pressure vessel, preventing over-expansion when water enters the cell. They are found in plants, bacteria, fungi, algae, and some archaea. Animals and protozoa do not have cell walls.

The materials in a cell wall vary between species, and in plants and fungi also differ between cell types and developmental stages. In plants, the strongest component of the complex cell wall is a carbohydrate called cellulose, which is a polymer of glucose. In bacteria, peptidoglycan forms the cell wall. Archaean cell walls have various compositions, and may be formed of glycoprotein S-layers, pseudopeptidoglycan, or polysaccharides. Fungi possess cell walls made of the glucosamine polymer chitin, and algae typically possess walls made of glycoproteins and polysaccharides. Unusually, diatoms have a cell wall composed of silicic acid. Often, other accessory molecules are found anchored to the cell wall.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA