, Volume 241, Issue 2, pp 359–370 | Cite as

Fungal hemicellulose-degrading enzymes cause physical property changes concomitant with solubilization of cell wall polysaccharides

  • Machiko Takahashi
  • Ryoichi Yamamoto
  • Naoki Sakurai
  • Yuki Nakano
  • Takumi Takeda
Original Article


Main conclusion

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.


Xylanase 1,3-1,4-β-Glucanase Viscoelastic properties Hemicellulosic tethers Polysaccharide solubilization 


Author contribution

M.T., Y. N. and T.T. performed research; R. Y. and N. S. analyzed data; T.T. designed research; T.T. wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.


This work was supported by Iwate Prefecture.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

425_2014_2176_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (389 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 388 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Machiko Takahashi
    • 1
  • Ryoichi Yamamoto
    • 2
  • Naoki Sakurai
    • 3
  • Yuki Nakano
    • 1
  • Takumi Takeda
    • 1
  1. 1.Iwate Biotechnology Research CenterKitakamiJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Human and Environmental SciencesTezukayama UniversityNaraJapan
  3. 3.Graduate School of Biosphere ScienceHiroshima UniversityHigashihiroshimaJapan

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