Obembe, Olawole O.
Cellulose-hemicellulose networks as target for in planta
modification of the properties of natural fibres.
Biotechnology and Molecular Biology Review , September , Vol. 1 (3).
ISSN ISSN 1538-2273
Plant cell wall polysaccharides are predominant components of fibres. Natural fibres have a wide range
of industrial applications, such as in paper and textile industries. Furthermore, their demand for use as
bio-composites in building and automotive applications is also increasing. For the various applications,
a gain of control over fibre characteristics is important. Inherent fibre characteristics are largely
determined by the ratio and interactions of cellulose and hemicelluloses. Two main strategies for
bioengineering fibre properties are reviewed: (i) modifying the cellulose/hemicellulose ratio (by
biosynthesis or biodegradation of specific polysaccharides), and (ii) interference with cellulosehemicellulose
interactions using carbohydrate-binding modules. These in planta approaches may have
the potential of complementing the currently used surface modification approaches for modifying fibre
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