Hemicellulose evolution in monilophytes (Research in Context)

Hemicellulose evolution in monilophytes (Research in Context)

Hemicellulose evol­u­tion in monilo­phytes (Research in Context)

The Equisetopsida emerged in the Upper Devonian (>370 mya), and Equisetum (hor­se­tails) may be the old­est sur­viv­ing vas­cu­lar plant genus. Horsetails and the Poales are the only plants pos­sess­ing the hemi­cel­lu­lose (1->3, 1->4)-b-d-glucan (MLG). Xue and Fry show that vari­ation has occurred in MLG struc­ture dur­ing hor­se­tail diver­si­fic­a­tion, and that E. bogotense (the earliest-diverging spe­cies) has MLG com­posed almost solely of an ances­tral tet­rasac­char­ide repeat-unit, G4G4G3G, whereas other spe­cies in both sub­gen­era (Equisetum and Hippochaete) have addi­tional di– and trisac­char­ide repeats. Quantitatively, xylo­glu­can is down-played in monilo­phyte spe­cies rich in MLG or man­nans. They con­clude that plants have ‘exper­i­mented’ extens­ively with hemi­cel­lu­lose struc­tures and pro­por­tions dur­ing evolution.

Annals of Botany Office.

The Annals of Botany Office is based at the University of Leicester.

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