Structure and function of plant cell walls

Plants do not have a skeleton that supports their body. Instead, each cell is confined in a stiff cell wall that protects the cell content. The cell wall is a composite material, made of stiff nano-crystalline cellulose microfibrils embedded in a matrix of poly-sugars, poly-aromatic, proteins, and other additives.

Silica is a mineral added to the cell wall in many plants, and may constitute several percent weight of the plant biomass. Plants with access to soluble Si tolerate biotic and abiotic stresses better than plants starved of Si.

We study nano and micro structure, and the chemical composition of plant tissues:

(1) The roles of silicon oxide in plant physiology

(2) Hygroscopic movement in seed dispersal




The RH Smith Institute for Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture, The Faculty of Agriculture, Rehovot 7610001



Room 2118 bldg. A

Email:  Phone:  +972(0)8-948-9335

Fax: +972(0)8-948-9889