Polysaccharides articles from across Nature Portfolio

Polysaccharides are carbohydrate polymers in which monosaccharide ((CH2O)n) units are covalently joined by an O-glycosidic bond in either a branched or linear configuration. Polysaccharides serve as stores of energy, as in glycogen (branched polysaccharide of glucose), and as a structural component of bacterial cell walls, as in cellulose (linear polysaccharide of glucose).

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News and Comment

  • News & Views |

    A series of in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo studies show that starch structure and plant tissue intactness control glucose release from pea-based foods. Modification of these characteristics through plant breeding and food processing may provide opportunities for enhanced food formulation, but challenges for labelling and communication.

    • Michael J. Gidley
    Nature Food 1, 663-664
  • News & Views |

    Cell walls made mainly of polysaccharides are a distinguishing feature of plants. They play key roles in adaptation today and during pivotal evolutionary events, such as colonization of dry land and development of a water-conducting vascular system. A critical enzyme involved in cell wall biosynthesis has now been identified.

    • Peter Ulvskov
    •  & Henrik V. Scheller
    Nature Plants 4, 635-636
  • News & Views |

    The synergistic action of cellulases is critical for the effective saccharification of cellulosic biomass, but the details of this cooperation remain poorly understood. Quantitative analysis at the level of single molecules now unveils a form of 'work sharing' among cellulolytic enzymes based on different adsorption specificities of their carbohydrate-binding modules.

    • Kiyohiko Igarashi