As a significant component of monocot cell walls, (1,3;1,4)-β-glucan has conclusively been shown to be synthesized by the cellulose synthase-like F6 protein. In this study, we investigated the synthetic activity of other members of the barley (Hordeum vulgare) CslF gene family using heterologous expression. As expected, the majority of the genes encode proteins that are capable of synthesizing detectable levels of (1,3;1,4)-β-glucan. However, overexpression of HvCslF3 and HvCslF10 genes resulted in the synthesis of a novel linear glucoxylan that consists of (1,4)-β-linked glucose and xylose residues. To demonstrate that this product was not an aberration of the heterologous system, the characteristic (1,4)-β-linkage between glucose and xylose was confirmed to be present in wild type barley tissues known to contain HvCslF3 and HvCslF10 transcripts. This polysaccharide linkage has also been reported in species of Ulva, a marine green alga, and has significant implications for defining the specificity of the cell wall content of many crop species. This finding supports previous observations that members of a single CSL family may not possess the same carbohydrate synthetic activity, with the CSLF family now associated with the formation of not only (1,3)- and (1,4)-β-glucosidic linkages, but also (1,4)-β-glucosidic and (1,4)-β-xylosidic linkages.
- monocot cell walls
- Cellulose Synthase-Like F Gene
- Land Plants
- F6 protein