A New Enzyme System in the Tamarind

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A NEW polysaccharide has been demonstrated to be active in the seed kernel of the tamarind (Tamarindus indica, Linn.) during germination. It was purified as follows. The ground kernel was extracted successively by petroleum ether (b.p., 60–80°C.), chloroform and absolute ethyl alcohol. One per cent of the solution from the residues was centrifuged three times, precipitated by an equal volume of 95 per cent ethyl alcohol and filtered through linen and dried. This was repeated twice and the fibrous product extracted in a Soxhlet apparatus by absolute alcohol for more than 48 hr. The pure polysaccharide (yields, 51.0 per cent; ash, 0.0) was shown to be homogenous by obtaining ten fractions as solutions by successive treatments of two samples with water at different temperatures, one from low to high and the other from high to low. Each fraction of solution gave the same polysaccharide which yielded on chemical hydrolysis, the same ratio of sugars (glucose, galactose, xylose: 3, 1, 2), as demonstrated by chemical and chromatographic methods. In several series of quantitative experiments of isolation, no other polysaccharide was detected in the kernel.

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