Cellulose Synthase-Like CslF Genes Mediate the Synthesis of Cell Wall (1,3;1,4)-ß-d-Glucans

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Science  31 Mar 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5769, pp. 1940-1942
DOI: 10.1126/science.1122975

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A characteristic feature of grasses and commercially important cereals is the presence of (1,3;1,4)-β-d-glucans in their cell walls. We have used comparative genomics to link a major quantitative trait locus for (1,3;1,4)-β-d-glucan content in barley grain to a cluster of cellulose synthase–like CslF genes in rice. After insertion of rice CslF genes into Arabidopsis, we detected (1,3;1,4)-β-d-glucan in walls of transgenic plants using specific monoclonal antibodies and enzymatic analysis. Because wild-type Arabidopsis does not contain CslF genes or have (1,3;1,4)-β-d-glucans in its walls, these experiments provide direct, gain-of-function evidence for the participation of rice CslF genes in (1,3;1,4)-β-d-glucan biosynthesis.

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