Suberin

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The aerial organs of all higher plants are covered with a lipid-rich cuticle that serves to protect plants from their environment. The cuticle is comprised of a lipid polymer, cutin, that is embedded and covered with aliphatic waxes. Suberin is a biosynthetically-related lipid polymer that is found in tree bark, seed coats, the surface of mature roots and surrounding the vasculature of young roots. Suberin production is a ubiquitous response to wounding. Collectively, cutin and suberin comprise the most abundant, naturally occurring lipid polymers on the planet. It is estimated that leaf cuticles alone represent a surface area twice that of the earth’s land surface.