CONFERENCE: 2003 Gordon Research Conference on Plant Cell Walls; Summer 2003, Meriden, New Hampshire

Project: Research project

Project Details


Plant cell walls are one of the key distinguishing features of plant life and profoundly influence plant growth, development, and structural mechanics. Of the 40 or so cell types that plants make, almost all of them can be identified by unique features of their cell walls. It is estimated that about 2500 genes are involved in cell wall biogenesis during cell growth and differentiation. Plant cell walls are the primary raw materials used in the timber, textile and paper industries and provide a rich source of polymers for food products, films, thickeners and many other materials. Because cell walls are an important source of raw materials for multiple industries, we anticipate that many of the cell wall-related genes now under study will be of economic importance via genetic modification of cell wall characteristics in plants. Examples include the modification of pectin cross-linking to increase shelf life of fruits and vegetables, the enhancement of dietary fiber contents of cereals, the improvement of yield and quality of fibers, and the relative allocation of carbon to wall biomass for biofuels.

This conference is timely and important because of recent progress in many aspects of cell wall biology and genomics. This is especially so as molecular, genetic, and genomic approaches are yielding major advances in our understanding of the composition and architecture of plant cell walls and their dynamics during growth, and are identifying the genes that encode the machinery needed to make their biogenesis possible. This meeting will bring together international scientists from academia, industry and government labs to share the latest breakthroughs and perspectives on polysaccharide biosynthesis, wood formation, wall modification, expansion and interaction with other organisms, and genomic & evolutionary analyses of wall-related genes, as well as to discuss recent nanotechnological advances that take wall analysis to the level of a single cell.

The Gordon Conferences are designed to be relatively small meetings with ample opportunity for group discussions as well as one-on-one exchanges between scientists with diverse approaches to the topic. NSF Funds will be used for partial support of conference fees and/or travel of participants, with a special effort to ensure representation by young scientists, women and members of underrepresented groups, as well as speakers with limited grant support and those coming from greater distances.

Effective start/end date9/1/038/31/04


  • National Science Foundation: $8,000.00


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