The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the structure and function of plant cell walls as well as the scientific approaches, methods and techniques used to study plant cell walls. Current experimentation and progress in the plant cell wall field, including practical applications (e.g., plant-based biofuel) will be discussed and featured in student presentations. More specifically, each student will be assigned a cell wall molecule (e.g., cellulose) and is expected to: 1) present a review of that cell wall molecule, including the approaches, methods and techniques used to study that molecule and 2) present a recent primary research paper on that cell wall molecule, which is selected in consultation with the instructor. Both of these presentations will be given in front of the entire class within the 2 hour time period. All class members are expected to read all the selected primary research papers prior to the presentations. Students are also expected to provide the instructor with their presentation material (i.e., PowerPoint’s and/or other documents) at least 24 hours in advance of their presentation date so that this information can be posted on the course web page.


Lectures, Additional Readings and Useful Web Sites
Sept. 10-Plant cell wall overview-Allan Showalter

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ The National Center for Biotechnology Information

http://www.cazy.org/ Carbohydrate-Active enZYmes Database

http://www.arabidopsis.org/ The Arabidopsis Information Resource (TAIR)

http://www.ccrc.uga.edu/~mao/cellwall/main.htm Complex Carbohydrate Research Center

http://bioweb.ucr.edu/Cellwall/ Cell Wall Navigator at UC Riverside

http://signal.salk.edu/  Salk Institute Genomic Analysis Laboratory

http://cellwall.genomics.purdue.edu/ Cell wall genomics at Purdue University

http://www.brachytag.org/ BrachyTAG project at the John Innes Centre

http://phylomics.ucdavis.edu/cellwalls/gt/index.shtml RiceGT Database at UC Davis

Primary research papers & PowerPoints for Student Presentations
(student paper and powerpoint files coming soon!)

Sept. 17-Cellulose-Debarti Basu-paper & powerpoint
Sept. 24-Hemicellulose (Xyloglucan)-Yuning Chen-
paper & powerpoint
Oct. 1-Proline-rich proteins-Nan Jiang-
paper & powerpoint
Oct. 8-Extensins-Richard Wiemels-
paper & powerpoint
Oct. 15-Pectin-Wen Dong-
paper & powerpoint
Oct. 22-
Hemicellulose (Xylans)-Xiao Liu-
paper & powerpoint
Oct. 29-Lignin-Dening Ye-
paper & powerpoint
Nov. 5-Arabinogalactan-proteins-Laura Cristea-
paper & powerpoint
Nov. 12-Cutin and Suberin-Yan Liang-paper & powerpoint