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Plant J. 2000 Apr;22(2):105-13.

Temporal and spatial regulation of pectic (1-->4)-beta-D-galactan in cell walls of developing pea cotyledons: implications for mechanical properties.

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Centre for Plant Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK.


Modifications in cell wall pectic polysaccharides are thought to influence cell-cell adhesion and the mechanical properties of plant tissues. Monoclonal antibodies to epitopes occurring in homo- galacturonan and side chains of rhamnogalacturonan I have been used in an immunolocalization study of cell wall architecture of developing pea cotyledons. Pectic (1-->4)-beta-D-galactan appears in cotyledon cell walls at a defined stage late in development (approximately 26-30 days after anthesis), whereas homogalacturonan and pectic (1-->5)-alpha-L-arabinan are present in cotyledon cell walls throughout development. (1-->4)-beta-galactan was restricted to a distinct thin layer at the plasma membrane face of the cell wall. Anion exchange and immunoaffinity chromatography indicated that the (1-->4)-beta-galactan was associated with acidic pectic components. Mechanical compressive testing of pea cotyledons, before and after (1-->4)-beta-galactan appearance, indicated that the cotyledons with the galactan-rich cell wall layer were twice as firm as those with no detectable (1-->4)-beta-galactan.

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