I can't seem to find the answer to this. Not even Wikipedia could help- it mentioned bacteria and fungi that have cellulases but not plants. Using my own reasoning, I would think that

  • On the one hand it is better if plant cells do not have cellulases so that they do not break down the cell wall. Although maybe it doesn't matter because the cellulases would not reach the cell wall without being actively transported out of the plasma membrane.
  • Perhaps it might be useful for plants to have cellulase. I don't know if plants have any sort of immune system like humans, but plants also get bacterial and parasitic infections in their cells. Maybe plants should have some mechanism to destroy an unhealthy cell? In that case, the destroying cells would need to use cellulase, would they not?
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16344110 $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Dec 13 '16 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ @WYSIWYG Thank you for your reply! The article certainly answered my question, but the first sentence also confused me: "Many bacterial genomes contain a cellulose synthase operon together with a cellulase gene, indicating that cellulase is required for cellulose biosynthesis" How does the fact that 'many bacterial genomes contain a cellulose synthase operon together with a cellulase gene' imply that 'cellulase is required for cellulose biosynthesis'? Would be grateful if anyone had any ideas about this! $\endgroup$ – 21joanna12 Dec 13 '16 at 15:42
  • $\begingroup$ I guess that these bacteria also produce cellulase for turnover of cellulose. Just the way all organisms have proteases to enable protein turnover. I did not get time to read that article in detail. I shall post an answer when I get time. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Dec 14 '16 at 8:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.