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Lignin, a principal component of wood, is a glue-like substance that helps fortify cell walls and is instrumental in the transport of water in many plants.
Like many land plants, this red seaweed produces lignin, a primary component of wood.
In a study published in today’s issue of the journal Current Biology, lead author Patrick Martone and colleagues describe using powerful chemical and microscopic anatomy techniques to identify and localize lignin within cell walls of a red alga that thrives along the wave-swept California coast. Martone conducted the work described in the paper while a graduate student and postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of co-author Mark Denny, Professor of Biology at Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station.
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