Genetic engineering is used to produce renewable resources for industry

Genetic engineering is a method with a great promise for the production of plants as renewable resources for industry. Transgenic plants which produce customized fats, with short chain fatty acids for the detergent and cosmetic industries, and with high erucic acid content for the production of synthetic materials, were discussed in section 15.5. Transgenic potatoes which contain only the branched starch amylopectine (section 9.1) (AMFLORA, BASF) are grown as raw material for industry, e.g.,...

Translocators catalyze the specific transport of metabolic substrates and products

Specialized membrane proteins catalyze a specific transport across membranes. In the past these proteins were called carriers, as it was assumed that after binding the substrate at one side of the membrane, they would diffuse through the membrane to release the substrate on the other side. We now know that this simple picture does not apply. Instead, transport can be visualized as a process by which a molecule moves through a specific pore. The proteins catalyzing such a transport are termed...

Xenobiotics are detoxified by conjugation

Toxic compounds produced by the plant or which are taken up (xenobi-otics, including herbicides) are detoxified by reaction with glutathione. Catalyzed by glutathione- transferases, the reactive SH group of glutath-ione can form a thioether by reacting with electrophilic carbon double bonds, carbonyl groups, and other reactive groups. Glutathione conjugates (Fig. 12.6) synthesized in this way in the cytosol are transported into the vacuole by a specific glutathione translocator against a...

The cell wall gives the plant cell mechanical stability

Nanocellulose Fiber

The difference between plant cells and animal cells is that plant cells have a cell wall. This wall limits the volume of the plant cell. The water taken up into the cell by osmosis presses the plasma membrane against the inside of the cell wall, thus giving the cell mechanical stability. The cell walls are very complex structures in Arabidopsis about 1,000 genes were found to be involved in its synthesis. Cell walls also protect against infections. The cell wall consists mainly of carbohydrates...

Nitrate assimilation is strictly controlled

During photosynthesis, CO2 assimilation and nitrate assimilation have to be matched to each other. Nitrate assimilation can progress only when CO2 assimilation provides the carbon skeletons for the amino acids. Moreover, nitrate assimilation must be regulated in such a way that the production of amino acids does not exceed the demand. Finally, it is important that nitrate reduction does not proceed faster than nitrite reduction, to prevent the accumulation of toxic levels of nitrite section...