Structural diversity, functions and biosynthesis of xyloglucans in angiosperm cell walls

Yves S.Y. Hsieh, Maree Paxton, Carsten P. Ade, Philip J. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Xyloglucans occur in the primary cell walls of all angiosperms where they are thought to have a structural role and be involved in the control of cell expansion. They also occur in the thick, non-lignified secondary cell walls of seeds of some species of eudicotyledons where they serve as reserve carbohydrates. The xyloglucans in the primary cell walls of most eudicotyledons have similar structures with side chains containing galactose and fucose. However, in one group of eudicotyledons, the asterids, there is considerable structural variability in the xyloglucans, with many containing arabinose. There is also variability in the xyloglucans of the monocotyledons, with those in the family Poaceae containing no fucose and only small proportions of galactose. The xyloglucans of the thick, secondary cell walls of seeds are similar to those in the primary walls of most eudicotyledons, but contain no fucose. The functional significance of these structural variations is unknown. A number of genes and their encoded glycosyltransferases have been identified as being involved in the biosynthesis of the xyloglucans of the model eudicotyledon Arabidopsis thaliana.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-196
Number of pages10
JournalNew Zealand Journal of Forestry Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell expansion
  • Eudicotyledons
  • Grasses and cereals (poaceae)
  • Monocotyledons
  • Primary cell walls
  • Seed cell walls
  • Xyloglucan biosynthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


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