High resolution solid state C NMR spectroscopy of sporopollenins from different plant taxa

Plant Physiol. 1988 Jan;86(1):134-6. doi: 10.1104/pp.86.1.134.


The extremely chemically resistant component of the cell wall of spores, pollens, and some microorganisms, sporopollenin, is generally accepted to be derived from carotenoids or carotenoid esters. However, we report here that (13)C NMR analyses of sporopollenin from several sources shows that this widely held view is incorrect, with one possible exception. Sporopollenin is not a unique substance but rather a series of related biopolymers derived from largely saturated precursors such as fatty acids. The biopolymers contain widely varying amounts of oxygen in the form of ether, hydroxyl, carboxylic acid, ester, and ketone groups.