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Abstract Detail

Charles Albert Shull & Stephen Hales Prize Awardee Symposium

Keegstra, Kenneth [1].

Back to the Future-Xyloglucan Structure, Biosynthesis and Function.

Most of the dry matter present in the vegetative tissues of higher plants, especially woody species, consists of cell wall components, mainly polysaccharides. Thus, understanding the structure, function and metabolism of the various cell wall polysaccharides has fundamental value for understanding many plant processes, such as growth and development, metabolic allocation of carbon fixed by photosynthesis, or resistance to potential pathogens. In addition, knowledge regarding cell walls also has practical relevance in many areas, including the paper and textile industries and in the production of biofuels. Great progress has been made in defining the structure of individual wall polysaccharides. However, only in the last decade have plant biologists begun to understand the molecular details of wall polysaccharide biosynthesis; even now, many important aspects of this problem remain unknown. Most of the work in our laboratory has focused on the synthesis of xyloglucan (XyG), a major polymer in the primary cell walls of most land plants. XyG has a β-1,4-linked glucan backbone that is substituted in a regular pattern with α-1,6-linked xylosyl residues, some of which are further substituted with other sugars.. The substitution pattern as well as the identity of the sugars present on xylose varies according to plant species. XyG is synthesized in the Golgi before being delivered to the wall and integrated into the wall matrix. Over the past few years, work from our lab, as well as others, has identified most of the genes and the enzymes that add the side-chain sugar residues to the glucan backbone. More recently, work from our lab has demonstrated that cellulose synthase-like genes in the C subfamily (CSLC genes) encode a glucan synthase and provided compelling evidence that it makes the backbone of XyG. The identification of the proteins responsible for XyG biosynthesis still leaves unanswered many important questions about how they interact with each other in the Golgi membranes to produce the final product with its regular structure. The identification of the genes involved in XyG biosynthesis opens the possibility of exploring XyG function via reverse genetics. We have generated several mutants in the genes required for XyG biosynthesis and they are leading to new insights into the functions of XyG in plant cell walls.

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1 - Michigan State University, MSU-DOE Plant Research Lab, Department of Plant Biology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, East Lansing, MI, 48824, USA

cell wall

Presentation Type: ASPB Major Symposium
Session: S01
Location: International Ballroom/Hilton
Date: Saturday, July 7th, 2007
Time: 3:40 PM
Number: S01002
Abstract ID:1260

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