Although the synthesis of cell wall polysaccharides is a critical process during plant cell growth and differentiation, many of the wall biosynthetic genes have not yet been identified. This review focuses on the synthesis of non-cellulosic matrix polysaccharides formed in the Golgi apparatus. Our consideration is limited to two types of plant cell wall biosynthetic enzymes: glycan synthases and glycosyltransferases. Classical means of identifying these enzymes and the genes that encode them rely on biochemical purification of enzyme activity to obtain amino acid sequence data that is then used to identify the corresponding gene. This type of approach is difficult, especially when acceptor substrates for activity assays are unavailable, as is the case for many enzymes. However, bioinformatics and functional genomics provide powerful alternative means of identifying and evaluating candidate genes. Database searches using various strategies and expression profiling can identify candidate genes. The involvement of these genes in wall biosynthesis can be evaluated using genetic, reverse genetic, biochemical, and heterologous expression methods. Recent advances using these methods are considered in this review.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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