Journal Article

Homogalacturonan Methyl-Esterification and Plant Development

Sebastian Wolf, Grégory Mouille and Jérome Pelloux

in Molecular Plant

Published on behalf of IPPE, SIBS, CAS and Chinese Society for Plant Biology (CSPB)

Volume 2, issue 5, pages 851-860
Published in print September 2009 | ISSN: 1674-2052
Published online August 2009 | e-ISSN: 1752-9867 | DOI:
Homogalacturonan Methyl-Esterification and Plant Development

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  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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The ability of a plant cell to expand is largely defined by the physical constraints imposed by its cell wall. Accordingly, cell wall properties have to be regulated during development. The pectic polysaccharide homogalacturonan is a major component of the plant primary walls. Biosynthesis and in muro modification of homogalacturonan have recently emerged as key determinants of plant development, controlling cell adhesion, organ development, and phyllotactic patterning. This review will focus on recent findings regarding impact of homogalacturonan content and methyl-esterification status of this polymer on plant life. De-methyl-esterification of homogalacturonan occurs through the action of the ubiquitous enzyme ‘pectin methyl-esterase’. We here describe various strategies developed by the plant to finely tune the methyl-esterification status of homogalacturonan along key events of the plant lifecycle.

Keywords: Carbohydrate metabolism; cell walls; Arabidopsis; Pectin

Journal Article.  5699 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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