The Secrets Hidden in the Plant Cell Wall: From Plant Biology and Biotechnology to Human Health

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737). This special issue belongs to the section "Biotechnology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2022) | Viewed by 14960

Special Issue Editors

Biology and Biotechnology Department “Charles Darwin” (BBCD), Università di Roma La Sapienza, 70-00196 Rome, Italy
Interests: plant biology; plant physiology; pectin; pectin methyl esterase; plant cell wall; plant-microbe interactions; plant immunity; cell wall integrity
Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
Interests: cell wall polysaccharide biosynthesis; protein–protein interactions and structures; cell wall-mediated stress responses
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
South African Grape and Wine Research Institute, Department of Viticulture and Oenology, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Interests: grape ripening; cell wall enzymes; resurrection plants; cell wall arabinans
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
The James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee, DD2 5DA, Scotland
Interests: Plant Cell Wall; (1,3:1,4)-B-Glucan; Genetics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The plant cell wall is an intricate network of polysaccharides composed of cellulose microfibrils embedded in a cohesive hemicellulose and pectin matrix. Lignin, a biomass crosslinker, is a complex network of phenolic compounds and represents a major component of the secondary cell wall. Cuticle, a hydrophobic cutin, suberin and wax layers are located in the outer part of the epidermal cells. Cell wall structural proteins, enzymes and their inhibitors and receptors are also secreted in the plant cell walls. They play different roles including the regulation of cross-linking between different cell wall constituents and their perception and signaling. The cell wall represents the first cell barrier that limits access to a wide range of pathogenic microorganisms, including fungi, nematodes and insects. Virus and abiotic stresses could also involve the modification of the plant cell wall at the level of plasmodesmata. The plant cell wall is also shaped during the penetration and establishment of symbiotic interfaces.

The interest in the exploitation of polysaccharides and other wall components as energy sources and biomaterials in biotechnology, especially in the field of bioenergy, is constant. However, the biggest bottleneck is represented by the recalcitrance that this structure has evolved, precisely to defend itself when interacting with pathogens and the environment.

It is also recognized that some cell wall polysaccharides are dietary fibers, carrying significant benefits for human health. The increase in dietary fiber content in food is demonstrated to reduce the risk of human diseases such as type II diabetes, colorectal cancer, cardiovascular, and certain inflammatory diseases. We welcome research papers, short communications, reviews, and methods focused on the involvement of the plant cell wall in plant physiology, biotechnology and human health.

Dr. Vincenzo Lionetti
Prof. Dr. Olga A. Zabotina
Dr. John P. Moore
Dr. Kelly Houston
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biology is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • plant cell wall
  • plant physiology
  • dietary fibers
  • bioenergy
  • human health
  • cellulose
  • hemicellulose
  • pectin
  • lignin
  • cell wall proteins

Published Papers (6 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

23 pages, 4721 KiB  
Article
Expression of Exogenous GFP-CesA6 in Tobacco Enhances Cell Wall Biosynthesis and Biomass Production
Biology 2022, 11(8), 1139; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11081139 - 29 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1995
Abstract
Improved cellulose biosynthesis and plant biomass represent important economic targets for several biotechnological applications including bioenergy and biofuel production. The attempts to increase the biosynthesis of cellulose by overexpressing CesAs proteins, components of the cellulose synthase complex, has not always produced consistent results. [...] Read more.
Improved cellulose biosynthesis and plant biomass represent important economic targets for several biotechnological applications including bioenergy and biofuel production. The attempts to increase the biosynthesis of cellulose by overexpressing CesAs proteins, components of the cellulose synthase complex, has not always produced consistent results. Analyses of morphological and molecular data and of the chemical composition of cell walls showed that tobacco plants (F31 line), stably expressing the Arabidopsis CesA6 fused to GFP, exhibits a “giant” phenotype with no apparent other morphological aberrations. In the F31 line, all evaluated growth parameters, such as stem and root length, leaf size, and lignified secondary xylem, were significantly higher than in wt. Furthermore, F31 line exhibited increased flower and seed number, and an advance of about 20 days in the anthesis. In the leaves of F31 seedlings, the expression of primary CesAs (NtCesA1, NtCesA3, and NtCesA6) was enhanced, as well as of proteins involved in the biosynthesis of non-cellulosic polysaccharides (xyloglucans and galacturonans, NtXyl4, NtGal10), cell wall remodeling (NtExp11 and XTHs), and cell expansion (NtPIP1.1 and NtPIP2.7). While in leaves the expression level of all secondary cell wall CesAs (NtCesA4, NtCesA7, and NtCesA8) did not change significantly, both primary and secondary CesAs were differentially expressed in the stem. The amount of cellulose and matrix polysaccharides significantly increased in the F31 seedlings with no differences in pectin and hemicellulose glycosyl composition. Our results highlight the potentiality to overexpress primary CesAs in tobacco plants to enhance cellulose synthesis and biomass production. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

26 pages, 3147 KiB  
Article
Comparison Study of Nontreated and Fermented Wheat Varieties ‘Ada’, ‘Sarta’, and New Breed Blue and Purple Wheat Lines Wholemeal Flour
Biology 2022, 11(7), 966; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11070966 - 27 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1684
Abstract
The aim of this study was to analyze and compare the acidity, microbiological, and chromaticity parameters; fatty acid (FA) and volatile compound (VC) profiles; and biogenic amine (BA), macro- and microelement, and mycotoxin concentrations in nontreated ‘Ada’, ‘Sarta’, and new breed blue (DS8472-5) [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to analyze and compare the acidity, microbiological, and chromaticity parameters; fatty acid (FA) and volatile compound (VC) profiles; and biogenic amine (BA), macro- and microelement, and mycotoxin concentrations in nontreated ‘Ada’, ‘Sarta’, and new breed blue (DS8472-5) and purple (DS8526-2) wheat lines wholemeal (WW) with those fermented with lactic acid bacteria (LAB) possessing antimicrobial/antifungal properties, isolated from spontaneous sourdough: Pediococcus acidilactici-LUHS29, Liquorilactobacillus uvarum-LUHS245, Lactiplantibacillus plantarum-LUHS122). All the fermented WW showed >8.0 log10 CFU/g of LAB count, and the type of LAB was a significant factor in the WW acidity parameters. Phenylethylamine was the predominant BA in WW, and the wheat variety (WV), the type of LAB, and their interaction were significant factors on the BA formation. Despite the fact that some differences in trace element concentrations in WW were obtained, in most of the cases fermentation was not a significant factor in their content. The main FAs in WW were palmitic acid, all-cis,trans-octadecenoic acid, and linoleic acid. Fermented WW showed a more diverse VC profile; however, the influence of fermentation on deoxynivalenol in WW was varied. Finally, further studies are needed to indicate the technological parameters that would be the most effective for each WV, including the lowest BA formation and mycotoxin degradation. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

16 pages, 2517 KiB  
Article
Commercial Yeast Strains Expressing Polygalacturonase and Glucanase Unravel the Cell Walls of Chardonnay Grape Pomace
Biology 2022, 11(5), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11050664 - 26 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1644
Abstract
Industrial wine yeast strains expressing hydrolytic enzymes were fermented on Chardonnay pomace and were shown to unravel the cell walls of the berry tissues according to the enzyme activities. The yeasts produced a native endo-polygalacturonase (Saccharomyces cerevisiae × Saccharomyces paradoxus hybrid, [...] Read more.
Industrial wine yeast strains expressing hydrolytic enzymes were fermented on Chardonnay pomace and were shown to unravel the cell walls of the berry tissues according to the enzyme activities. The yeasts produced a native endo-polygalacturonase (Saccharomyces cerevisiae × Saccharomyces paradoxus hybrid, named PR7) and/or a recombinant endo-glucanase (S. cerevisiae strains named VIN13 END1 and PR7 END1). The impact of the enzymes during the fermentations was evaluated by directly studying the cell wall changes in the berry tissues using a Comprehensive Microarray Polymer Profiling technique. By the end of the fermentation, the endo-glucanase did not substantially modify the berry tissue cell walls, whereas the endo-polygalacturonase removed some homogalacturonan. The recombinant yeast strain producing both enzymes (PR7 END1) unravelled the cell walls more fully, enabling polymers, such as rhamnogalacturonan-I, β-1,4-D-galactan and α-1,5-L-arabinan, as well as cell wall proteins to be extracted in a pectin solvent. This enzyme synergism led to the enrichment of rhamnogalacturonan-type polymers in the subsequent NaOH fractions. This study illustrated the potential utilisation of a recombinant yeast in pomace valorisation processes and simulated consolidated bioprocessing. Furthermore, the cell wall profiling techniques were confirmed as valuable tools to evaluate and optimise enzyme producing yeasts for grape and plant cell wall degradation. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 1507 KiB  
Article
Coexpression of Fungal Cell Wall-Modifying Enzymes Reveals Their Additive Impact on Arabidopsis Resistance to the Fungal Pathogen, Botrytis cinerea
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1070; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101070 - 19 Oct 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2018
Abstract
The plant cell wall (CW) is an outer cell skeleton that plays an important role in plant growth and protection against both biotic and abiotic stresses. Signals and molecules produced during host–pathogen interactions have been proven to be involved in plant stress responses [...] Read more.
The plant cell wall (CW) is an outer cell skeleton that plays an important role in plant growth and protection against both biotic and abiotic stresses. Signals and molecules produced during host–pathogen interactions have been proven to be involved in plant stress responses initiating signal pathways. Based on our previous research findings, the present study explored the possibility of additively or synergistically increasing plant stress resistance by stacking beneficial genes. In order to prove our hypothesis, we generated transgenic Arabidopsis plants constitutively overexpressing three different Aspergillus nidulans CW-modifying enzymes: a xylan acetylesterase, a rhamnogalacturonan acetylesterase and a feruloylesterase. The two acetylesterases were expressed either together or in combination with the feruloylesterase to study the effect of CW polysaccharide deacetylation and deferuloylation on Arabidopsis defense reactions against a fungal pathogen, Botrytis cinerea. The transgenic Arabidopsis plants expressing two acetylesterases together showed higher CW deacetylation and increased resistance to B. cinerea in comparison to wild-type (WT) Col-0 and plants expressing single acetylesterases. While the expression of feruloylesterase alone compromised plant resistance, coexpression of feruloylesterase together with either one of the two acetylesterases restored plant resistance to the pathogen. These CW modifications induced several defense-related genes in uninfected healthy plants, confirming their impact on plant resistance. These results demonstrated that coexpression of complementary CW-modifying enzymes in different combinations have an additive effect on plant stress response by constitutively priming the plant defense pathways. These findings might be useful for generating valuable crops with higher protections against biotic stresses. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 2532 KiB  
Article
Photodegradation of Biohazardous Dye Brilliant Blue R Using Organometallic Silver Nanoparticles Synthesized through a Green Chemistry Method
Biology 2021, 10(8), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10080784 - 17 Aug 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2437
Abstract
Nowadays, nanostructures having tremendous chemical and physical properties are gaining attention in the biomedical industry. However, when they are prepared through classical methods (physical and chemical), they are often non-biocompatible and toxic. Considering the mentioned factors, in this research, organometallic silver nanostructures (OMAgNs) [...] Read more.
Nowadays, nanostructures having tremendous chemical and physical properties are gaining attention in the biomedical industry. However, when they are prepared through classical methods (physical and chemical), they are often non-biocompatible and toxic. Considering the mentioned factors, in this research, organometallic silver nanostructures (OMAgNs) have been prepared by the green chemistry method using the acetone, methanol, and methanol-hexane-based extracts of the medicinally important plant Cichorium intybus. Secondary metabolites from C. intybus can be used as an alternative to synthetic reagents at an industrial scale to manufacture biosafe and economical nanostructures with enhanced physicochemical parameters. Prepared nanostructures were characterized using SEM, XRD, FTIR, TGA, UV, and zeta potential measurement. SEM analysis revealed different shapes of OMAgNs, prepared with various extracts. XRD analysis showed the crystallinity of the nanostructures. FTIR spectroscopy helped to identify groups of compounds present in the extracts and used for the OMAgNs synthesis. Out of the three tested OMAgNs, those prepared with methanol extract were selected due to the highest obtained yield and stability (highest negative zeta potential) and were tested as a cost-efficient and active agent to photodegrade organic pollutant, Brilliant Blue R, using energy from sunlight. A decrease in UV-VIS absorbance confirmed the rapid degradation of the dye. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

14 pages, 773 KiB  
Review
Pectins and Olive Pectins: From Biotechnology to Human Health
Biology 2021, 10(9), 860; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10090860 - 02 Sep 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3575
Abstract
Pectins are a component of the complex heteropolysaccharide mixture present in the cell wall of higher plants. Structurally, the pectin backbone includes galacturonic acid to which neutral sugars are attached, resulting in functional regions in which the esterification of residues is crucial. Pectins [...] Read more.
Pectins are a component of the complex heteropolysaccharide mixture present in the cell wall of higher plants. Structurally, the pectin backbone includes galacturonic acid to which neutral sugars are attached, resulting in functional regions in which the esterification of residues is crucial. Pectins influence many physiological processes in plants and are used industrially for both food and non-food applications. Pectin-based compounds are also a promising natural source of health-beneficial bioactive molecules. The properties of pectins have generated interest in the extraction of these polysaccharides from natural sources using environmentally friendly protocols that maintain the native pectin structure. Many fruit by-products are sources of pectins; however, owing to the wide range of applications in various fields, novel plants are now being explored as potential sources. Olives, the fruit of the olive tree, are consumed as part of the healthy Mediterranean diet or processed into olive oil. Pectins from olives have recently emerged as promising compounds with health-beneficial effects. This review details the current knowledge on the structure of pectins and describes the conventional and novel techniques of pectin extraction. The versatile properties of pectins, which make them promising bioactive compounds for industry and health promotion, are also considered. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop