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Cell wall thickness and composition are involved in photosynthetic limitation


Flexas, Jaume et al. (2021), Cell wall thickness and composition are involved in photosynthetic limitation, Dryad, Dataset,


The key role of cell walls in setting mesophyll conductance to CO2 (gm) and, consequently, photosynthesis, is reviewed. First, the theoretical properties of cell walls that can affect gm are presented. Then, we focus on cell wall thickness (Tcw) reviewing empirical evidence showing that Tcw varies strongly among species and phylogenetic groups in a way that correlates with gm and photosynthesis i.e. the thicker the mesophyll cell walls, the lower gm and photosynthesis. Potential interplays of gmTcw, dehydration tolerance and hydraulic properties of leaves are also discussed. Dynamic variations of Tcw in response to the environment and their implications in the regulation of photosynthesis are discussed, and recent evidence suggesting an influence of cell wall composition on gm are presented. We then propose a hypothetical mechanism for the influence of cell walls on photosynthesis, combining the effects of thickness and composition, particularly pectins. Finally, we discuss the prospects for using biotechnology for enhancing photosynthesis by means of altering cell wall-related genes.


Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad


European Social Fund, Award: BES-2015-072578

Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte, Award: FPU-02054