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The plant cuticle is one of the key innovations that allowed plants to colonize terrestrial ecosystems. By limiting molecular diffusion, the cuticle provides an interface that ensures controlled interactions between plant surfaces and their environments. It confers diverse and sometimes astonishing properties upon plant surfaces at both the molecular level (from water and nutrient exchange capacities to almost complete impermeability), to the macroscopic level (from water repellence to iridescence). It takes the form of a continuous modification of the outer cell wall of the plant epidermis from early in plant development (surrounding the epidermis of the developing plant embryo) and is actively maintained and modified throughout the growth and development of most plant aerial organs - including non-woody stems, flowers, leaves, and even the root cap of emerging primary and lateral roots. The cuticle was first identified as a distinct structure in the early 19th century, and has since been the focus of intense research that, while revealing the fundamental role of the cuticle in the life of terrestrial plants, has also highlighted many unresolved mysteries regarding cuticle biogenesis and structure. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Laura González-Valenzuela, Joan Renard, Nathalie Depège-Fargeix, Gwyneth Ingram. The plant cuticle. Current biology : CB. 2023 Mar 27;33(6):R210-R214

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PMID: 36977378

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