Xylan is a crucial component of many plant primary and secondary cell walls. However, the structure and function of xylan in the dicotyledon primary cell wall is not well understood. Here, we characterized a xylan that is specific to tissues enriched in Arabidopsis primary cell walls. Unlike previously described xylans, this xylan carries a pentose linked 1-2 to the α-1,2-d-glucuronic acid (GlcA) side chains on the β-1,4-Xyl backbone. The frequent and precisely regular spacing of GlcA substitutions every six xylosyl residues along the backbone is also unlike that previously observed in secondary cell wall xylan. Molecular genetics, in vitro assays, and expression data suggest that IRX9L, IRX10L and IRX14 are required for xylan backbone synthesis in primary cell wall synthesising tissues. IRX9 and IRX10 are not involved in the primary cell wall xylan synthesis but are functionally exchangeable with IRX9L and IRX10L. GUX3 is the only glucuronyltransferase required for the addition of the GlcA decorations on the xylan. The differences in xylan structure in primary versus secondary cell walls might reflect the different roles in cross-linking and interaction with other cell wall components.
Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; GUX3; IRX10L; IRX14; IRX9L; Xylan; primary wall.
© 2015 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.