Localisation and substrate specificities of transglycanases in charophyte algae relate to development and morphology

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Herburger, Klaus
Ryan, Louise M.
Popper, Zoe A.
Holzinger, Andreas
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Cell wall-modifying enzymes have been previously investigated in charophyte green algae (CGA) in cultures of uniform age, giving limited insight into their roles. Therefore, we investigated the in situ localisation and specificity of enzymes acting on hemicelluloses in CGA genera of different morphologies and developmental stages. In vivo transglycosylation between xyloglucan and an endogenous donor in filamentous Klebsormidium and Zygnema was observed in longitudinal cell walls of young (1 month) but not old cells (1 year), suggesting that it has a role in cell growth. By contrast, in parenchymatous Chara, transglycanase action occurred in all cell planes. In Klebsormidium and Zygnema, the location of enzyme action mainly occurred in regions where xyloglucans and mannans, and to a lesser extent mixed-linkage beta-glucan (MLG), were present, indicating predominantly xyloglucan: xyloglucan endotransglucosylase (XET) activity. Novel transglycosylation activities between xyloglucan and xylan, and xyloglucan and galactomannan were identified in vitro in both genera. Our results show that several cell wall-modifying enzymes are present in CGA, and that differences in morphology and cell age are related to enzyme localisation and specificity. This indicates an evolutionary significance of cell wall modifications, as similar changes are known in their immediate descendants, the land plants. This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.
Charophyte green algae , Mixed-linkage beta-glucan , Transglycosylation , Xyloglucan transglucosylase hydrolase , Xylan , Xyloglucan
Herburger, K., Ryan, L. M., Popper, Z. A. and Holzinger, A. (2018) 'Localisation and substrate specificities of transglycanases in charophyte algae relate to development and morphology', Journal of Cell Science, 131, jcs203208 (10pp). doi: 10.1242/jcs.203208