The Modification of Cell Wall Properties by Expression of Recombinant Resilin in Transgenic Plants

Itan Preis, Miron Abramson, Oded Shoseyov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Plant tissue is composed of many different types of cells. Plant cells required to withstand mechanical pressure, such as vessel elements and fibers, have a secondary cell wall consisting of polysaccharides and lignin, which strengthen the cell wall structure and stabilize the cell shape. Previous attempts to alter the properties of the cell wall have mainly focused on reducing the amount of lignin or altering its structure in order to ease its extraction from raw woody materials for the pulp and paper and biorefinery industries. In this work, we propose the in vivo modification of the cell wall structure and mechanical properties by the introduction of resilin, an elastic protein that is able to crosslink with lignin monomers during cell wall synthesis. The effects of resilin were studied in transgenic eucalyptus plants. The protein was detected within the cell wall and its expression led to an increase in the elastic modulus of transgenic stems. In addition, transgenic stems displayed a higher yield point and toughness, indicating that they were able to absorb more energy before breaking.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)310-318
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Biotechnology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Cell wall
  • Crosslinking
  • Elastic modulus
  • Lignin
  • Mechanical properties
  • Resilin


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