Arabinans are found in the pectic network of many cell walls, where, along with galactan, they are present as side chains of Rhamnogalacturonan l. Whilst arabinans have been reported to be abundant polymers in the cell walls of seeds from a range of plant species, their proposed role as a storage reserve has not been thoroughly investigated. In the cell walls of Arabidopsis seeds, arabinose accounts for approximately 40% of the monosaccharide composition of non-cellulosic polysaccharides of embryos. Arabinose levels decline to similar to 15% during seedling establishment, indicating that cell wall arabinans may be mobilized during germination. Immunolocalization of arabinan in embryos, seeds, and seedlings reveals that arabinans accumulate in developing and mature embryos, but disappear during germination and seedling establishment. Experiments using C-14-arabinose show that it is readily incorporated and metabolized in growing seedlings, indicating an active catabolic pathway for this sugar. We found that depleting arabinans in seeds using a fungal arabinanase causes delayed seedling growth, lending support to the hypothesis that these polymers may help fuel early seedling growth.
- Cell walls
- embryogenesis and seed development
- arabinose carbohydrate metabolism
- physiology of plant growth
- CELL-WALL POLYSACCHARIDES
- PECTIC POLYSACCHARIDES