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Plant Physiol. 1988 Oct;88(2):309-14.

A survey of the pectic content of nonlignified monocot cell walls.

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  • 1Agricultural Chemistry, Glasgow University, Glasgow G12 8QQ, Scotland.


The primary cell walls of graminaceous monocots were known to have a low content of pectin compared to those of dicots, but it was uncertain how widespread this feature was within the monocots as a whole. Nonlignified cell walls were therefore prepared from 33 monocot species for determination of their pectin content. It was not possible to solubilize intact pectins quantitatively from the cell walls, and the pectin content was assessed from three criteria: the total uronic acid content; the content of alpha-(1,4')-D-galacturonan isolated by partial hydrolysis and characterized by electrophoresis and degradation by purified polygalacturonase; and the proportion of neutral residues in a representative pectic fraction solubilized by sequential beta-elimination and N,N,N'N'-cyclohexanediaminetetraacetic acid extraction. Low galacturonan contents were restricted to species from the Gramineae, Cyperaceae, Juncaceae, and Restionaceae. Other species related to these had intermediate galacturonan contents, and the remainder of the monocots examined had high galacturonan contents comparable with those of dicots. The other criteria of pectin content showed the same pattern.

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