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Plant signaling & behavior

Habituation and dehabituation to dichlobenil: simply the equivalent of Penélope's weaving and unweaving process?


PMID 19829052

Abstract

The habituation of cell cultures to cellulose biosynthesis inhibitors constitutes a valuable method for learning more about the plasticity of plant cell wall composition and structure. The subculture of habituated cells in the absence of an inhibitor (dehabituation) offers complementary information: some habituation-associated modifications revert, whereas others remain, even after long-term (3-5 years) dehabituation processes. However, is dehabituation simply the opposite to the process of habituation, in the same way that the cloth woven by Penélope during the day was unwoven during the night? Principal Component Analysis applied to Fourier Transformed Infrared (FTIR) spectra of cell walls from dichlobenil-habituated and dehabituated bean cell lines has shown that dehabituation follows a different pathway to that of habituation. Principal component loadings show that dehabituated cells have more pectins, but that these display a lower degree of methyl-esterification, than those of habituated ones. Further analysis of cell walls focusing on the first steps of habituation would serve to identify which specific modifications in pectins are responsible to the fine modulation of cell wall architecture observed during the habituation/dehabituation process.

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