Paulraj T, Wennmalm S, Wieland DCF, Riazanova AV, Dėdinaitė A, Günther Pomorski T, Cárdenas M, Svagan AJ
Nat Commun 11 (1) 958 [2020-02-19; online 2020-02-19]
The structural integrity of living plant cells heavily relies on the plant cell wall containing a nanofibrous cellulose skeleton. Hence, if synthetic plant cells consist of such a cell wall, they would allow for manipulation into more complex synthetic plant structures. Herein, we have overcome the fundamental difficulties associated with assembling lipid vesicles with cellulosic nanofibers (CNFs). We prepare plantosomes with an outer shell of CNF and pectin, and beneath this, a thin layer of lipids (oleic acid and phospholipids) that surrounds a water core. By exploiting the phase behavior of the lipids, regulated by pH and Mg2+ ions, we form vesicle-crowded interiors that change the outer dimension of the plantosomes, mimicking the expansion in real plant cells during, e.g., growth. The internal pressure enables growth of lipid tubules through the plantosome cell wall, which paves the way to the development of hierarchical plant structures and advanced synthetic plant cell mimics.