This work is a comprehensive collection of articles that cover aspects of cell wall research in the genomic era. Some 2500 genes are involved in some way in wall biogenesis and turnover, from generation of substrates, to polysaccharide and lignin synthesis, assembly, and rearrangement in the wall. Although a great numberof genes and gene families remain to be characterized, this issue provides a census of the genes that have been discovered so far. The articles comprising this issue not only illustrate the enormous progress made in identifying the wealth of wall-related genes but they also show the future directions and how far we have to go. As cell walls are an enormously important source of raw material, we anticipate that cell-wall-related genes are of significant economic importance. Examples include the modification of pectin-cross-linking or cell-cell adhesion to increase shelf life of fruits and vegetables, the enhancement of dietary fiber contents of cereals, the improvement of yield and quality of fibers, and the relative allocation of carbon to wall biomass for use as biofuels. The book is intended for academic and professional scientists working in the area of plant biology as well as material chemists and engineers, and food scientists who define new ways to use cell walls.
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