Maize cell wall degradability, from whole plant to tissue level: different scales of complexity


Today, maize stover can be considered as a model for investigating secondary cell wall formation in grasses with major applications in cattle feeding (forage maize) and green energy production (bioethanol, biogas, etc). Up until now, cell wall formation and cell wall degradability have been considered at the whole plant scale. However, a detailed examination of leaves and internodes has underlined a large diversity of lignified cell types (xylem vessels, parenchyma, sub-epidermal and perivascular sclerenchyma) and significant variations in the organization and / or the composition of these different cell types. In this review, we highlighted several aspects of this complexity and their consequences on valorization processes both in agriculture or industries.


Zea mays; cell wall digestibility; anatomy; sclerenchyma; parenchyma

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