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Carbohydr Res. 2005 Aug 15;340(11):1826-40.

Structural analysis of xyloglucans in the primary cell walls of plants in the subclass Asteridae.

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  • 1Complex Carbohydrate Research Center and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Georgia, 315 Riverbend Road, Athens, GA 30602-4712, USA.


The structures of xyloglucans from several plants in the subclass Asteridae were examined to determine how their structures vary in different taxonomic orders. Xyloglucans, solubilized from plant cell walls by a sequential (enzymatic and chemical) extraction procedure, were isolated, and their structures were characterized by NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. All campanulids examined, including Lactuca sativa (lettuce, order Asterales), Tenacetum ptarmiciflorum (dusty miller, order Asterales), and Daucus carota (carrot, order Apiales), produce typical xyloglucans that have an XXXG-type branching pattern and contain alpha-d-Xylp-, beta-D-Galp-(1-->2)-alpha-D-Xylp-, and alpha-L-Fucp-(1-->2)-beta-D-Galp-(1-->2)-alpha-D-Xylp- side chains. However, the lamiids produce atypical xyloglucans. For example, previous analyses showed that Capsicum annum (pepper) and Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato), two species in the order Solanales, and Olea europaea (olive, order Lamiales) produce xyloglucans that contain arabinosyl and galactosyl residues, but lack fucosyl residues. The XXGG-type xyloglucans produced by Solanaceous species are less branched than the XXXG-type xyloglucan produced by Olea europaea. This study shows that Ipomoea pupurea (morning glory, order Solanales), Ocimum basilicum (basil, order Lamiales), and Plantago major (plantain, order Lamiales) all produce xyloglucans that lack fucosyl residues and have an unusual XXGGG-type branching pattern in which the basic repeating core contains five glucose subunits in the backbone. Furthermore, Neruim oleander (order Gentianales) produces an XXXG-type xyloglucan that contains arabinosyl, galactosyl, and fucosyl residues. The appearance of this intermediate xyloglucan structure in oleander has implications regarding the evolutionary development of xyloglucan structure and its role in primary plant cell walls.

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