Cellulases, hemicelluloses and auxin‐stimulated growth: a possible relationship

Stephen C. Fry*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The plant growth promoter, auxin, may loosen the primary cell wall by increasing the activity of extracellular cellulases – a group of enzymes that cleave hemicellulose chains in the walls of both monocotyledons and dicotyledons. Evidence is reviewed that suggests that these hemicellulose chains tether adjacent microfibrils, and that by cleaving such chains the cellulases facilitate cell expansion. On the basis of this structural arrangement a mechanism for elastic and plastic wall extension is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-536
Number of pages5
JournalPhysiologia plantarum
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1989


  • auxin
  • cellulase
  • hemicellulose


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