Progress in the biological synthesis of the plant cell wall: new ideas for improving biomass for bioenergy
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Lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks for biofuels are primarily the thickened secondary cells of vascular plants. Recent advances have been made in our basic understanding of how cellulose and the non-cellulosic polysaccharides of the plant cell wall are synthesized, assembled, and integrated with the synthesis of lignin. New complexities have been elucidated in the ways cellulose microfibrils are deposited at the plasma
membrane surface and integrated with non-cellulosic polysaccharides are assembled and lignified into functional form. Current strategies focus on the transcriptional events that specify vascularization and fiber formation and how the composition of lignin is modified in expression variants in the natural population. This knowledge base will yield new ideas for how to enhance lignocellulosic composition and cell wall
architecture in biomass tailored for its end use.