Structure and dynamics of brachypodium primary cell wall polysaccharides from two-dimensional 13C solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

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The polysaccharide structure and dynamics in the primary cell wall of the model grass Brachypodium distachyon are investigated for the first time using solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). While both grass and non-grass cell walls contain cellulose as the main structural scaffold, the former contains xylan with arabinose and glucuronic acid substitutions as the main hemicellulose, with a small amount of xyloglucan (XyG) and pectins, while the latter contains XyG as the main hemicellulose and significant amounts of pectins. We labeled the Brachypodium cell wall with 13C to allow two-dimensional (2D) 13C correlation NMR experiments under magic-angle spinning. Well-resolved 2D spectra are obtained in which the 13C signals of cellulose, glucuronoarabinoxylan (GAX), and other matrix polysaccharides can be assigned. The assigned 13C chemical shifts indicate that there are a large number of arabinose and xylose linkages in the wall, and GAX is significantly branched at the developmental stage of 2 weeks. 2D 13C-13C correlation spectra measured with long spin diffusion mixing times indicate that the branched GAX approaches cellulose microfibrils on the nanometer scale, contrary to the conventional model in which only unbranched GAX can bind cellulose. The GAX chains are highly dynamic, with average order parameters of ∼0.4. Biexponential 13C T 1 and 1H T1p relaxation indicates that there are two dynamically distinct domains in GAX: the more rigid domain may be responsible for cross-linking cellulose microfibrils, while the more mobile domain may fill the interfibrillar space. This dynamic heterogeneity is more pronounced than that of the non-grass hemicellulose, XyG, suggesting that GAX adopts the mixed characteristics of XyG and pectins. Moderate differences in cellulose rigidity are observed between the Brachypodium and Arabidopsis cell walls, suggesting different effects of the matrix polysaccharides on cellulose. These data provide the first molecular-level structural information about the three-dimensional organization of the polysaccharides in the grass primary wall. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

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