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Plant J. 1997 Mar;11(3):387-98.

Fructan of the inulin neoseries is synthesized in transgenic chicory plants (Cichorium intybus L.) harbouring onion (Allium cepa L.) fructan:fructan 6G-fructosyltransferase.

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Department of Molecular Cell Biology, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Fructan (polyfructosylsucrose) is an important storage carbohydrate in many plant families. fructan:fructan 6G-fructosyltransferase (6G-FFT) is a key enzyme in the formation of the inulin neoseries, a type of fructan accumulated by members of the Liliales. We have cloned the 6G-FFT from onion by screening a cDNA library using barley sucrose:fructan 6-fructosyltransferase (6-SFT) as a probe. The deduced amino acid sequence showed a high homology with plant invertases and 6-SFT. Incubation of protein extracts from transgenic tobacco plants with the trisaccharide 1-kestose and sucrose resulted in the formation of neokestose and fructans of the inulin neoseries with a degree of polymerization up to six. Introduction of the onion 6G-FFT into chicory resulted in the synthesis of fructan of the inulin neoseries, in addition to the synthesis of linear inulin.

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