Efficient and cost-effective conversion of plant biomass to usable forms of energy requires a thorough understanding of cell wall biosynthesis, modification and degradation. To elucidate these processes, we assessed the expression dynamics during enzymatic removal and regeneration of rice cell walls in suspension cells over time. In total, 928 genes exhibited significant up-regulation during cell wall removal, whereas, 79 genes were up-regulated during cell wall regeneration. Both gene sets are enriched for kinases, transcription factors and genes predicted to be involved in cell wall-related functions. Integration of the gene expression datasets with a catalog of known and/or predicted biochemical pathways from rice, revealed metabolic and hormonal pathways involved in cell wall degradation and regeneration. Rice lines carrying Tos17 mutations in genes up-regulated during cell wall removal exhibit dwarf phenotypes. Many of the genes up-regulated during cell wall development are also up-regulated in response to infection and environmental perturbations indicating a coordinated response to diverse types of stress.