PerspectivePlant Biology

A Baroque Residue in Red Wine

Science  26 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5543, pp. 795-797
DOI: 10.1126/science.1066242

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The rigid cell walls of plants are able to withstand the enormous turgor pressure exerted by the solute inside each cell. However, this rigidity presents plant cells with something of a problem when they want to grow. In an illuminating Perspective, Höfte discusses new findings showing that alterations in the cross-linking of a complex sugar called RGII in the plant cell wall alters the rigidity of the wall, enabling plants to grow.