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Title: The molecular structure of plant sporopollenin

Abstract

Sporopollenin is a ubiquitous and extremely chemically inert biopolymer that constitutes the outer wall of all land-plant spores and pollen grains1. Sporopollenin protects the vulnerable plant gametes against a wide range of environmental assaults, and is considered a prerequisite for the migration of early plants onto land2. Despite its importance, the chemical structure of plant sporopollenin has remained elusive1. Using a newly developed thioacidolysis degradative method together with state-of-the-art solid-state NMR techniques, we determined the detailed molecular structure of pine sporopollenin. We show that pine sporopollenin is primarily composed of aliphatic-polyketide-derived polyvinyl alcohol units and 7-O-p-coumaroylated C16 aliphatic units, crosslinked through a distinctive dioxane moiety featuring an acetal. Naringenin was also identified as a minor component of pine sporopollenin. This discovery answers the long-standing question about the chemical make-up of plant sporopollenin, laying the foundation for future investigations of sporopollenin biosynthesis and for the design of new biomimetic polymers with desirable inert properties.

Authors:
; ORCiD logo; ; ; ORCiD logo
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) (United States). Center for Lignocellulose Structure and Formation (CLSF); Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1566613
DOE Contract Number:  
SC0001090
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Nature Plants
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2055-0278
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
biofuels (including algae and biomass), bio-inspired, membrane, carbon sequestration, materials and chemistry by design, synthesis (self-assembly)

Citation Formats

Li, Fu-Shuang, Phyo, Pyae, Jacobowitz, Joseph, Hong, Mei, and Weng, Jing-Ke. The molecular structure of plant sporopollenin. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/s41477-018-0330-7.
Li, Fu-Shuang, Phyo, Pyae, Jacobowitz, Joseph, Hong, Mei, & Weng, Jing-Ke. The molecular structure of plant sporopollenin. United States. doi:10.1038/s41477-018-0330-7.
Li, Fu-Shuang, Phyo, Pyae, Jacobowitz, Joseph, Hong, Mei, and Weng, Jing-Ke. Mon . "The molecular structure of plant sporopollenin". United States. doi:10.1038/s41477-018-0330-7.
@article{osti_1566613,
title = {The molecular structure of plant sporopollenin},
author = {Li, Fu-Shuang and Phyo, Pyae and Jacobowitz, Joseph and Hong, Mei and Weng, Jing-Ke},
abstractNote = {Sporopollenin is a ubiquitous and extremely chemically inert biopolymer that constitutes the outer wall of all land-plant spores and pollen grains1. Sporopollenin protects the vulnerable plant gametes against a wide range of environmental assaults, and is considered a prerequisite for the migration of early plants onto land2. Despite its importance, the chemical structure of plant sporopollenin has remained elusive1. Using a newly developed thioacidolysis degradative method together with state-of-the-art solid-state NMR techniques, we determined the detailed molecular structure of pine sporopollenin. We show that pine sporopollenin is primarily composed of aliphatic-polyketide-derived polyvinyl alcohol units and 7-O-p-coumaroylated C16 aliphatic units, crosslinked through a distinctive dioxane moiety featuring an acetal. Naringenin was also identified as a minor component of pine sporopollenin. This discovery answers the long-standing question about the chemical make-up of plant sporopollenin, laying the foundation for future investigations of sporopollenin biosynthesis and for the design of new biomimetic polymers with desirable inert properties.},
doi = {10.1038/s41477-018-0330-7},
journal = {Nature Plants},
issn = {2055-0278},
number = 1,
volume = 5,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {12}
}

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