PerspectivePlant Science

Plants Get Hyp to O-Glycosylation

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Science  17 Jun 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6036, pp. 1393-1394
DOI: 10.1126/science.1208641

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The two most abundant natural organic polymers on Earth are cellulose and chitin, characterized by long chains of carbohydrates that bear a specific type of sugar linkage called O-glycosylation. This type of linkage also occurs between polysaccharides (glycans) and proteins and glycans and lipids, yielding glycoconjugates that are well known to function in cell recognition processes (1). On page 1401 in this issue, Velasquez et al. (2) explore a specific type of O-glycosylation for plant cell wall structural proteins and connect this modification to root hair growth.