Evidence for cross-linking in tomato cutin using HR-MAS NMR spectroscopy

Phytochemistry. 2003 Nov;64(6):1163-70. doi: 10.1016/s0031-9422(03)00505-3.

Abstract

Cutin is a polyester biopolymer component of plant leaf and fruit cuticles, most often associated with waxes and cuticular polysaccharides, and sometimes with another aliphatic biopolymer called cutan. Insolubility of these cuticular biopolymers has made it difficult to apply traditional analytical techniques for structure determination, because most techniques providing molecular level details require solubility. By using the relatively new technique of one and two-dimensional high-resolution magic angle spinning (HR-MAS) NMR spectroscopy, with added information from solid-state 13C NMR spectroscopy, detailed through-bond connectivities and assignments are made for cutin from Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato) fruit. Based on the data obtained, tomato cutin is found to be predominantly an aliphatic polyester with some olefinic and aromatic moieties, consistent with previous studies that employed various degradative approaches. Aside from esters, there are free primary and secondary alcohol groups, as well as free fatty acids. A significant finding is the presence of alpha-branched fatty acids/esters. Mid-chain hydroxyls appear to be generally unesterified, but esters of mid-chain hydroxyls have been identified. The alpha-branched fatty acids/esters and esters of mid-chain hydroxyls could point towards cross-linking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biopolymers / chemistry*
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / chemistry*
  • Membrane Lipids / chemistry*
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular / methods*
  • Polyesters / chemistry

Substances

  • Biopolymers
  • Membrane Lipids
  • Polyesters
  • cutin