Author(s): Zykwinska A, Thibault JF, Ralet MC
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Abstract The structure of arabinan and galactan domains in association with cellulose microfibrils was investigated using enzymatic and alkali degradation procedures. Sugar beet and potato cell wall residues (called 'natural' composites), rich in pectic neutral sugar side chains and cellulose, as well as 'artificial' composites, created by in vitro adsorption of arabinan and galactan side chains onto primary cell wall cellulose, were studied. These composites were sequentially treated with enzymes specific for pectic side chains and hot alkali. The degradation approach used showed that most of the arabinan and galactan side chains are in strong interaction with cellulose and are not hydrolysed by pectic side chain-degrading enzymes. It seems unlikely that isolated arabinan and galactan chains are able to tether adjacent microfibrils. However, cellulose microfibrils may be tethered by different pectic side chains belonging to the same pectic macromolecule.
This article was published in J Exp Bot
and referenced in Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences