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Cellulose: Hard to digest, but full of energy
Date:7/20/2010

rotein complex and whether it contains other proteins. Scientists working with Staffan Persson at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology and their colleagues in the USA have now identified the Cellulose Synthase-Interactive Protein CSI1 which is involved in cellulose synthesis. CSI1 appears to be associated with the CESA complex as it interacts with the cellulose synthases of the primary cell wall (CESA1, 3 and 6). The researchers succeeded in demonstrating that the protein plays an important role in the formation of cellulose. "Plants that cannot form any CSI1 due to a mutation demonstrably produce less cellulose. They have short and swollen roots, and their pollen grains collapse," explains Dr. Staffan Persson.

The scientists have yet to discover the precise role played by CSI1 in cellulose synthesis. They suspect that the protein influences the speed of cellulose production and the spatial orientation of the individual cellulose fibrils. The researchers would thus now like to examine the precise role of CSI1. The insights gained from these more detailed studies will contribute to a better understanding of the biosynthesis of cell walls. This knowledge could increase the chances of achieving better cell wall digestibility in animal feed, and enable the utilisation of cell walls to generate energy.


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Contact: Staffan Persson
persson@mpimp-golm.mpg.de
49-331-567-8149
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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