Ratnum Kaul Wattal* and Babeeta C Kaula


Climate change is the burning issue of the contemporary times. Elevated levels of CO2, increased global temperatures, drought and salinity have impacted plant biodiversity and crop productivity in a big way. With global population explosion, the need of the hour is to increase plant productivity as well as improve the nutritional quality of the crop plants. It is mandatory to produce   plants by genetically engineering them, in a manner that they are able to overcome the negative effects of these abiotic factors. Plant cell wall is a protective layer of the cell which counters the stress of external abiotic factors as well as the internal turgor pressure. Thus, it maintains the homeostasis in the cell. Elevated levels of CO2 have been shown to affect the cell wall at the biochemical as well as molecular level. The study of effect of elevated CO2 on plant cell wall is still in its infancy. It is essential to understand the mechanistic details of the biosynthetic pathway to elucidate the role of elevated CO2 in making plants adapt to the various stresses of climate change. Plant sequesters CO2 in the form of photosynthate. Plant cell wall is a great sink for the carbon assimilated   in the plant. Additionally, it is also preparing the plant to adapt to the adversities of climate change. An in-depth knowledge of the biosynthetic pathway as well as resultant cell wall modifications will give us an insight into how to tackle the problem of climate change. The information received through these basic studies can help in designing genetically engineered plants which can undergo modifications in cell wall architecture to be able to tolerate the impact of climate change. The review helps us identify   the target molecules in the cell wall which when produced by genetic engineering can help plant overcome the adverse effects of elevated levels of CO2.

Keywords: Elevated CO2, Cell wall, Carbon Sequestration, Carbon Sink, Abiotic Stress, Homeostasis.

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