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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cell wall biosynthesis: glycan containing oligomers in developing cotton fibers, cotton fabric, wood and paper.

A series of oligomeric glycans can be extracted from the cell walls of developing cotton fibers with weak acid. Glycans that produce similar profiles on high pH anion chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection (HPAEC-PAD) are also found in a protein complex extracted from developing fibers and in amorphous aggregates found in association with immature fibers in developing, but not in mature cotton bolls. The quantity and composition of the glycans recovered from the carbohydrate-protein complex varies significantly with the time of day when the bolls are harvested. This diurnal variation is consistent with the hypothesis that secondary cell walls are deposited primarily at night. Incubation of re-hydrated cotton fibers in the presence of exogenous oligosaccharides, myo-inositol and glycerol substantially alters the apparent quantity of the oligomers extracted from the fibers. The same and similar glycans have also been extracted from cotton fabric, marine algae, various paper products and wood. While many of the oligomers isolated from the various cellulose sources display the same peaks by HPAEC-PAD, the specific number of oligomers and their relative quantities appear unique for each source of cellulosic material. Oligomeric glycans, as described in the preceding, are present in all cellulose sources that have been investigated. Their relative abundance changes in response to source, stage of development and other physiological variables. We hypothesize that the glycans are intermediates in the biological assembly of cellulose, and that their incorporation in cellulose is mediated by physicochemical and enzymatic mechanisms.[1]


  1. Cell wall biosynthesis: glycan containing oligomers in developing cotton fibers, cotton fabric, wood and paper. Murray, A.K., Nichols, R.L., Sassenrath-Cole, G.F. Phytochemistry (2001) [Pubmed]
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