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Science 306 (5705): 2206-2211

Copyright © 2004 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Toward a Systems Approach to Understanding Plant Cell Walls

Chris Somerville,1,2* Stefan Bauer,1 Ginger Brininstool,1 Michelle Facette,1,2 Thorsten Hamann,1 Jennifer Milne,1 Erin Osborne,1 Alex Paredez,1,2 Staffan Persson,1 Ted Raab,1 Sonja Vorwerk,1 Heather Youngs1,2

Abstract: One of the defining features of plants is a body plan based on the physical properties of cell walls. Structural analyses of the polysaccharide components, combined with high-resolution imaging, have provided the basis for much of the current understanding of cell walls. The application of genetic methods has begun to provide new insights into how walls are made, how they are controlled, and how they function. However, progress in integrating biophysical, developmental, and genetic information into a useful model will require a system-based approach.

1 Carnegie Institution, Department of Plant Biology, 260 Panama Street, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
2 Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: crs{at}

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