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bio102-1 - Is lignin essential That is what effects would...

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Is lignin essential? That is, what effects would the gymnosperm or angiosperms have if biotechnologists altered the content of lignin? What would happen if lignin content was perturbed- decreased to make the plant more “edible”? Would there be an effect on the height or width of the plant or amount of roots? Would there be an effect on the vascular tissue or photosynthetic tissues and their products? Maryah Barna Bio 102 Section 1 February 17, 2009 Lignin and Its Uses Today Several different adaptations accompanied the plants that migrated onto land. These adaptations include a variety of changes, but most notably the development of lignin. Lignin is a complex polymer that helps give the plant support to grow tall and protection to the vascular systems within the plant. This vital addition to plants that moved to land provides them with numerous ways to support themselves and support the species. Intrigued scientists look for ways to spread the support that lignin gives to plants towards mankind in newfound ways. The polymer lignin gives support to a growing plant by strengthening the cell walls that make up the plant and its vascular system, containing xylem and phloem (Campbell 2008). This then allows the stem and other parts of the plant to spread out and keep firm while doing so. Lignin is most common in wood, which is a prime example of the strength that lignin provides. Wood is a compact and hard material that because of its strength and sturdiness it can be used for the construction of buildings. The plants that contain lignin are able to grow taller than the rest in order to steal away more sunshine from those plants beneath them. Without this quality, there
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