Secreting glandular trichomes: more than just hairs.
Secreting glandular plant trichome types which accumulate large quantities of metabolic products in the space between their gland cell walls and cuticle permit the plant to amass secretions in a compartment that is virtually outside the plant body. These structures not only accumulate and store what are often phytotoxic oils but they position these compounds as an apparent first line of defense at the surface of the plant. Recent advances in methods for isolation and study of trichome glands have allowed more precise analysis of gland cell metabolism and enzymology. isolation of mutants with altered trichome phenotypes provides new systems for probing the genetic basis of trichome development. These advances and their continuation can pave the way for future attempts at modification of trichome secretion. The biochemical capability of glandular secreting trichomes and the potential for its future manipulation to exploit this external storage compartment is the focus of this review.