Fungal hemicellulose-degrading enzymes cause physical property changes concomitant with solubilization of cell wall polysaccharides
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Physical properties of wheat coleoptile segments decreased after treatment with hemicellulose-degrading enzymes, indicating that hemicellulosic polysaccharides function to control the strength of primary cell walls.
Changes in the physical properties of plant cell walls, a viscoelastic structure, are thought to be one of the growth-limiting factors for plants and one of the infection-affecting factors for fungi. To study the significance of hemicellulosic polysaccharides that form cross-bridges between cellulose microfibrils in controlling cell wall strength in monocot plants, the effects of hemicellulose degradation by recombinant Magnaporthe oryzae xylanase and 1,3-1,4-β-glucanase, and recombinant Aspergillus oryzae xyloglucanase on the physical properties and polysaccharide solubilization were investigated using wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) coleoptiles. Treatments with xylanase or 1,3-1,4-β-glucanase significantly decreased the viscosity and elasticity of wheat coleoptile segments. In addition, xyloglucanase treatment slightly decreased the viscoelasticity. Furthermore, 1,3-1,4-β-glucan polymer was solubilized during hydrolysis with xylanase and xyloglucanase, even though neither enzyme had hydrolytic activity towards 1,3-1,4-β-glucan. These results suggest that xylan and xyloglucan interact with 1,3-1,4-β-glucan and that the composites and hemicellulosic polysaccharides form inter-molecular bridges. Degradation of these bridges causes decreases in the physical properties, resulting in increased extensibility of the cell walls. These findings provide a testable model in which wheat coleoptile cell walls are loosened by the degradation of hemicellulosic polysaccharides and hemicellulose-degrading enzymes play a significant role in loosening the walls during fungal infection.
KeywordsXylanase 1,3-1,4-β-Glucanase Viscoelastic properties Hemicellulosic tethers Polysaccharide solubilization
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