In-vivo formation of xyloglucan nonasaccharide: A possible biologically active cell-wall fragment

S. C. Fry*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The in-vivo formation of a specific nonasaccharide of xyloglucan was investigated. This nonasaccharide has been reported to have biological activity, inhibiting auxin-induced growth in pea stem segments. Cell-suspension cultures of spinach were grown in the presence of [3H]arabinose and [3H]fucose, and the culture-filtrates were examined for oligosaccharides by gelpermeation chromatography and by paper chromatography. Sixteen [3H]pentose-containing oligosaccharides were found, including twelve that contained the sequence [3H]xylosyl-α(1→6)-glucose, which is diagnostic of xyloglucan. In addition, [3H]fucose-containing oligosaccharides of at least three sizes were found. Radiochemical evidence is presented that one of these oligosaccharides was labelled with both [3H]fucose and with [3H]pentose, and was identical with the major xyloglucan-derived nonasaccharide associated with anti-auxin activity. It was largely present in the form of acylated (possibly acetylated) derivatives. It accumulated extracellularly to a steady-state concentration of about 4.3·10-7M. This is the first report of the production of a biologically-active oligosaccharide by living plant cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-453
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1986


  • "Oligosaccharin"
  • Anti-auxin
  • Cell wall (active fragment)
  • Nonasaccharide
  • Spinacia (xyloglucan)
  • Xyloglucan


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