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Cambial cell biology comes of age

Chaffey, N (2001) 'Cambial cell biology comes of age.' Tree Physiology: Trends in European Forest Tree Physiology Research, 2. pp. 3-18. ISSN 1568-2544

Abstract

Although trees, and their wood in particular, are one of our most important resources, study of their cell biology is difficult and progress has generally been slow. However, over the last decade, that situation has changed with the advent of new technologies. This overview considers some of what is now possible regarding the cell biology of the tree, particularly of the cambium and wood formation, and identifies several ‘drivers’ that should encourage further research into tree biology. A major driver is the realisation that lack of fundamental knowledge of wood formation is holding back progress in the attempts of molecular biologists to engineer trees with ‘better’ lignin. Another is the knowledge that the model herb, Arabidopsis, can undergo substantial secondary thickening. A third is the demonstration that trees are amenable to the techniques of modern cell biological investigation, with focus on poplar, the model hardwood tree. Some of the ‘new cambial cell biology’ is briefly discussed. Adoption of Arabidopsis as an honorary tree, its exploitation, in tandem with poplar, and development of new methods of in vivo examination of cambial cell biology hold out the promise of a bright future for tree research. However, it is stressed that trees must remain the model species for studying wood formation with model systems in a supporting role.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QK Botany
S Agriculture > SD Forestry
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2015 11:26
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2016 14:12
URI: http://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/6389
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