Primitive Extracellular Lipid Components on the Surface of the Charophytic Alga Klebsormidium flaccidum and Their Possible Biosynthetic Pathways as Deduced from the Genome Sequence
The plant cuticle is an extracellular lipid structure deposited over the aerial surfaces of land plants, which seals the shoot and protects it from biotic and abiotic stresses. It is composed of cutin polymer matrix and waxes, produced and secreted by epidermal cells. The use of forward and reverse genetic approaches in Arabidopsis has led to the identification of enzymes involved in fatty acid elongation and biosynthesis of wax components, as well as transporters required for lipid delivery to the cuticle. However, major questions concerning alkane formation, intracellular and extracellular wax transport, regulation of wax deposition, and assembly of cuticular components into a functional cuticle remain to be resolved.