Gorshkova T, Brutch N, Chabbert B, Deyholos M, Hayashi T, Lev-Yadun S, Mellerowicz EJ, Morvan C, Neutelings G, Pilate G
Plant Fiber Formation: State of the Art, Recent and Expected Progress, and Open Questions
Crit Rev Plant Sci 2012, 31(3):201-228

Plant fibers are one of the most important renewable resources, used as raw material in the paper industry, and for various textiles and for composites. Fibers are structural components in timber and an energy-rich component of fuel-wood. For the plant itself, fibers are important in establishing plant architecture, as a source of mechanical support, in defence from herbivory, and in some cases as elements with contractile properties, resembling those of muscles. In addition, fibers may store ergastic carbon resources and water. Here, we review various aspects of fiber development such as initiation, elongation, cell wall formation and multinuclearity, discuss open questions and propose directions for further research. Most of the recent progress in fiber formation biology, especially in cell wall structure and chemistry, emerged from studies of only a few model plants including flax, Populus spp., Eucalyptus spp., Arabidopsis thaliana and hemp. Considering the enormous importance of fibers to humanity, it is surprising how little is known about the biology of fiber formation.

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