Perspectives in the biological function and the technological application of polygalacturonases
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Polygalacturonases (PG) have evolved in the past years from a pectinase “simply” being used for food processing to an important parameter in plant–fungal interaction. PG-inhibiting proteins (PGIP) that are synthesised in plants as a specific response to PGs of pathogenic fungi, have become a focus as a possible target in resistance breeding, and PGIPs are also a concern as an inhibiting factor in food processing. Plant PGs have been identified as a major factor in fruit ripening, and PG-deficient transgenic plants have been bred. Mainly fungal PGs are used in industrial processes for juice clarification and the range of enzymes is being extended through new recombinant and non-recombinant fungal strains. Finally, novel fields of application can be envisaged for PGs in the production of oligogalacturonides as functional food components. Here we aim to highlight the various fields where PGs are encountered and where they are of biological or technological importance.
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