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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(12), 23356-23368; doi:10.3390/ijms141223356
Article

Modification of Pectin and Hemicellulose Polysaccharides in Relation to Aril Breakdown of Harvested Longan Fruit

1,†
,
1,†
,
1
,
1
,
2
 and
1,*
1 Key Lab of Plant Resources Conservation and Sustainable Utilization, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China 2 Guangzhou No.6 Middle School, Guangzhou 510300, China These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 October 2013 / Revised: 19 November 2013 / Accepted: 21 November 2013 / Published: 27 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Abstract

To investigate the modification of cell wall polysaccharides in relation to aril breakdown in harvested longan fruit, three pectin fractions (WSP, water soluble pectin; CSP, CDTA-soluble pectin; ASP, alkali soluble pectin) and one hemicellulose fraction (4 M KOH-SHC, 4 M KOH-soluble hemicellulose) were extracted, and their contents, monosaccharide compositions and molecular weights were evaluated. As aril breakdown intensified, CSP content increased while ASP and 4 M KOH-SHC contents decreased, suggesting the solubilization and conversion of cell wall components. Furthermore, the molar percentage of arabinose (Ara), as the main component of the side-chains, decreased largely in CSP and ASP while that of rhamnose (Rha), as branch point for the attachment of neutral sugar side chains, increased during aril breakdown. Analysis of (Ara + Gal)/Rha ratio showed that the depolymerization of CSP and ASP happened predominantly in side-chains formed of Ara residues. For 4 M KOH-SHC, more backbones were depolymerized during aril breakdown. Moreover, it was found that the molecular weights of CSP, ASP and 4 M KOH-SHC polysaccharides tended to decrease as aril breakdown intensified. These results suggest that both enhanced depolymerization and structural modifications of polysaccharides in the CSP, ASP and 4 M KOH-SHC fractions might be responsible for aril breakdown of harvested longan fruit.
Keywords: aril breakdown; cell wall degradation; pectin; matrix glycan; depolymerization aril breakdown; cell wall degradation; pectin; matrix glycan; depolymerization
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Wang, D.; Zhang, H.; Wu, F.; Li, T.; Liang, Y.; Duan, X. Modification of Pectin and Hemicellulose Polysaccharides in Relation to Aril Breakdown of Harvested Longan Fruit. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 23356-23368.

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