Research in the Coleman Lab focuses on understanding how plant cell walls are formed and the various internal and external factors which influence their characteristics, particularly in terms of composition and structure. The cell wall is important in plants for structure, support, defense and water transport, and from a human perspective influences the ways in which we can use plants as structural materials, food, fiber and fuel. We use poplar as a model system for this research. Current projects in the lab include the hyperexpression of cellulases in poplar and the investigation of the role that nitrogen metabolism plays in cell wall formation.