Site where protein binds to plant cell walls has been found

Studying the Arabidopsis thaliana, a plant species often used in plant science studies, researchers have found that the expansin protein binds to specific regions of plant cell walls to loosen them and allow for plants to grow.

The target sites where this binding action occurs have a different cellulose structure compared to a plant’s bulk cellulose. These sites are enriched with hemicellulose xyloglucan.

Knowing where expansin binds might help biochemists design more potent expansins to better stimulate plant growth and could lead to bigger harvests of biomass for renewable energy.

Read more at Iowa State University