Chapter 14 Study Questions

  1. List six functions of plant cell walls.

  2. Textbook Reference: Overview of Plant Cell Wall Functions and Structures, p. 380

  3. Distinguish between the major components of plant cell walls: cellulose microfibrils, pectins, hemicelluloses, and proteins.

  4. Textbook Reference: Overview of Plant Cell Wall Functions and Structures, pp. 382–392

  5. Distinguish between primary and secondary cell walls. How do they differ in their chemical composition and mechanical properties?

  6. Textbook Reference: Overview of Plant Cell Wall Functions and Structures, pp. 382–384

  7. How is cellulose synthesized and where does synthesis occur? Discuss the nature of the enzyme involved, its subunit structure, and the basic reactions involved.

  8. Textbook Reference: Overview of Plant Cell Wall Functions and Structures, pp. 384–387

  9. The structural components of plant cell walls are interconnected and cross-linked by various types of bonds, including hydrogen bonds, ionic bonds, and covalent bonds. Give specific examples of each of these types of interactions found in plant cell walls.

  10. Textbook Reference: Overview of Plant Cell Wall Functions and Structures, pp. 384–392

  11. Following their synthesis and secretion, cell wall polymers assemble to form the cell wall. Does this process occur by self-assembly or by enzyme-mediated assembly? What is an example of the latter?

  12. Textbook Reference: Primary Cell Wall Structure and Function, pp. 392–393

  13. Discuss the occurrence and function of cell expansion by tip growth versus diffuse growth in the typical plant life cycle.

  14. Textbook Reference: Mechanisms of Cell Expansion, pp. 393–396

  15. Discuss the meaning and significance of the term “stress relaxation” in relation to the process of plant cell expansion. Why is stress relaxation crucial for the process of plant growth?

  16. Textbook Reference: The Extent and Rate of Cell Growth, pp. 397–400

  17. What is meant by “acid growth.” Which protein has been shown to mediate it? Describe the experiments that led to the discovery of this protein.

  18. Textbook Reference: The Extent and Rate of Cell Growth, pp. 397–400

  19. What is lignin and how is it synthesized?

  20. Textbook Reference: Secondary Cell Wall Structure and Function, pp. 400–404