3-O-methyl-D-galactose residues in lycophyte primary cell walls.

PMID 11397438


Acid hydrolysis of cell wall-rich material from young leaves of the lycophyte Selaginella apoda (L.) Spring yielded substantial amounts of 3-O-methyl-D-galactose (1) in addition to the usual major monosaccharides (glucose, galactose, arabinose, xylose and galacturonic acid). The yield of 1 approximately equalled that of galacturonic acid. Compound 1 was identified as 3-O-methylgalactose by its 1H and 13C NMR spectra, and shown to be the D-enantiomer by its susceptibility to D-galactose oxidase. Compound 1 was detected in acid hydrolysates of the alcohol-insoluble residues from young leaves of all lycophytes tested, both homosporous (Lycopodium, Huperzia and Diphasiastrum) and heterosporous (Selaginella). It was not detectable in the charophyte green algae Coleochaete scutata, Chara coralina or Klebsormidium flaccidum, any bryophytes [a hornwort (Anthoceros), four liverworts and three mosses], or any euphyllophytes [a psilopsid (Psilotum), a horsetail (Equisetum), eusporangiate and leptosporangiate ferns, the gymnosperm Gnetum, and diverse angiosperms]. A high content of 1 is thus an autapomorphy of the lycophytes.