Collenchyma: a versatile mechanical tissue with dynamic cell walls
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Leroux, Olivier (2012). Collenchyma: a versatile mechanical tissue with dynamic cell walls. Annals of Botany 110 (6), 1083-1098
Collenchyma has remained in the shadow of commercially exploited mechanical tissues such as wood and fibres, and therefore has received little attention since it was first described. However, collenchyma is highly dynamic, especially compared with sclerenchyma. It is the main supporting tissue of growing organs with walls thickening during and after elongation. In older organs, collenchyma may become more rigid due to changes in cell wall composition or may undergo sclerification through lignification of newly deposited cell wall material. While much is known about the systematic and organographic distribution of collenchyma, there is rather less information regarding the molecular architecture and properties of its cell walls. This review summarizes several aspects that have not previously been extensively discussed including the origin of the term ocollenchyma' and the history of its typology. As the cell walls of collenchyma largely determine the dynamic characteristics of this tissue, I summarize the current state of knowledge regarding their structure and molecular composition. Unfortunately, to date, detailed studies specifically focusing on collenchyma cell walls have not been undertaken. However, generating a more detailed understanding of the structural and compositional modifications associated with the transition from plastic to elastic collenchyma cell wall properties is likely to provide significant insights into how specific configurations of cell wall polymers result in specific functional properties. This approach, focusing on architecture and functional properties, is likely to provide improved clarity on the controversial definition of collenchyma.