There are two major monomer families of cutin, C16 and C18-families. The C16 family consists mainly of 16-hydroxypalmitate and 9,16 or 10,16-dihydroxypalmitate. The C18 family consists mainly of 18-hydroxyoleate, 9,10-epoxy-18-hydroxystearate, and 9,10,18-trihydroxystearate.
The major structural component of the cuticle is cutin, a biopolyester composed of interesterified hydroxy, and epoxy-hydroxy C16 and C18 fatty acids.
Cutinmonomers produced by the action of cutinase have been recently shown to be important as signals, in fungi to induce the expression of cutinase, and in plants to potentially activate defence mechanisms.
For instance, it is unknown where cutin monomers/oligomers are made and how they get to the surface, how the polymerisation takes place, what regulates the amount of cutin and which effects it has on the physiology of the plant.
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