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CELLULOSE AS THE ANTI-GRAVITATIONAL POLYSACCHARIDE $100.00
Authors:  Takayuki Hoson
Abstract:
Plants show two principal responses to gravity. One is gravimorphogenesis, which
enables plants to establish an appropriate body form. The other is gravity resistance to
grow and develop against the gravitational force. Cellulose is involved in both gravity
responses: in particular, cellulose is responsible for tension wood formation and gravity
resistance in the basal supporting regions. Angiosperm trees form tension wood on the
upper side of the leaning stems to increase the mechanical support when exposed to a
gravitational stimulus. Tension wood has characteristic fibers with an inner gelatinous
cell wall layer consisting mainly of cellulose microfibrils that are parallel to the long cell
axis. In gravity resistance, plants enhance the strength of the whole body by increasing
cell wall rigidity. The increase in cell wall rigidity in the growing regions may be brought
about by modifications to the metabolism of certain matrix polysaccharides, such as
xyloglucans and 1,3,1,4-β-glucans, in concert with the reorientation of cellulose
microfibrils, whereas cellulose plays a central role in increasing cell wall rigidity in the
basal supporting regions. When cellulose synthesis is stimulated in response to the
gravitational force in these responses, the expression of cellulose synthase genes is upregulated.
Thus, cellulose acts as the anti-gravitational polysaccharide in both
gravimorphogenesis and gravity resistance. 


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CELLULOSE AS THE ANTI-GRAVITATIONAL POLYSACCHARIDE