Letter | Published:

Cell Wall Degradation by a Pectate Transeliminase

Naturevolume 214pages408410 (1967) | Download Citation



CULTURE fluids of the soft-rotting bacterium Erwinia aroideae contain polygalacturonase activity and cause maceration of parenchymatous tissue. Much indirect evidence has indicated that polygalacturonase causes maceration; for example, both activities respond in the same way to pH, precipitation by organic solvents, and dialysis1. It has been demonstrated2 that culture fluids of the closely related E. carotovora degrade pectate by transelimination rather than by hydrolysis. Methods for measuring polygalacturonase activity do not distinguish generally between hydrolysis caused by polygalacturonase and transelimination caused by pectate transeliminase, and it is probable that in many cases reactions ascribed to the first are caused by the second.

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  1. 1

    Wood, R. K. S., Ann. Bot., N. S., 19, 1 (1955).

  2. 2

    Starr, M. P., and Moran, F., Science, 135, 920 (1962).

  3. 3

    Byrde, R. J. W., and Fielding, A. H., Nature, 196, 1227 (1962).

  4. 4

    Byrde, R. J. W., and Fielding, A. H., Nature, 205, 390 (1965).

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  1. Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, S.W.7.

    •  & R. K. S. WOOD


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