Evolution and diversity of green plant cell walls

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2008 Jun;11(3):286-92. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2008.02.012. Epub 2008 Apr 10.


Plant cells are surrounded by a dynamic cell wall that performs many essential biological roles, including regulation of cell expansion, the control of tissue cohesion, ion-exchange and defence against microbes. Recent evidence shows that the suite of polysaccharides and wall proteins from which the plant cell wall is composed shows variation between monophyletic plant taxa. This is likely to have been generated during the evolution of plant groups in response to environmental stress. Understanding the natural variation and diversity that exists between cell walls from different taxa is key to facilitating their future exploitation and manipulation, for example by increasing lignocellulosic content or reducing its recalcitrance for use in biofuel generation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Evolution*
  • Cell Wall / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plants / classification
  • Plants / genetics
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism


  • Plant Proteins
  • Polysaccharides