Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: April 22, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Many economically important plants store sugars that are high in fructose content. Fructose is used extensively as a sweetener (e.g. in the production of carbonated beverages) and is, therefore, a valuable commodity. The ways in which plants accumulate and use these fructose-based sugars are not fully understood. However, recent advances in technology have provided much more definitive information on the structure of these sugars and on how grasses, such as barley, make and use these sugars during growth. This chapter reviews the recent literature to explain how economically important grasses make and use these fructose-based sugars.
Technical Abstract: The enzymology of fructan metabolism has received much attention since the pioneering work of Edelman and Jefford in 1968. Significant progress in identifying the various enzymes possibly involved in fructan metabolism has been made easier by advancements in technology, ranging from improved protein and carbohydrate chromatography systems to more user friendly cloning and expression systems. This review focuses on studies that used rigorously purified enzymes and well defined substrates. Coincidently, most of this work was conducted with grass species that store the highly branched graminan type of fructan, which contain both beta-2,6 and beta-2,1-fructosyl linkages.