Homogalacturonan (HG) is the most abundant pectin subtype in plant cell walls. Although it is a linear homopolymer, its modification states allow for complex molecular encoding. HG metabolism affects its structure, chemical properties, mobility and binding capacity, allowing it to interact dynamically with other polymers during wall assembly and remodelling and to facilitate anisotropic cell growth, cell adhesion and separation, and organ morphogenesis. HGs have also recently been found to function as signalling molecules that transmit information about wall integrity to the cell. Here we highlight recent advances in our understanding of the dual functions of HG as a dynamic structural component of the cell wall and an initiator of intrinsic and environmental signalling. We also predict how HG might interconnect the cell wall, plasma membrane and intracellular components with transcriptional networks to regulate plant growth and development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science