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Volume 42 - Number 2 - 2007

Substitutions on the D-Galactose unit of agar polymers: Metabolic implications

Mauricio A. Ondarza1


1 Departamento de Ingeniería Ambiental. Unidad Académica Multidisciplinaria Reynosa Rodhe. Reynosa, Tam, Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, Carretera a San Fernando cruce con canal Rodhe s/n. México


Regarding macroalgae´s physiology, it is considered that substitutions on the L-Gal unit of agar polymers are representative of their biosynthesis. Studies performed within the Plant Cell Wall Polysaccharides Laboratory team have demonstrated the presence of 4-O-methyl-L-galactose in agar polymers from the rhodophycean thallophyte Gracilaria verrucosa and its linkage on the C-6 position of the D-Gal unit, which is also the site of O-methylation. Based on the 6-O-Me-Gal/ 4-O-Me-Gal ratio and the degree of substitution of D-Gal unit, a new approach for monitoring the characteristic events of agar metabolism was defined.

Key words: Agar, Gracilaria verrucosa, biosynthesis, O-methylation



1Laboratorio de Zooplancton, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología,Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. A. P. 70-305, 04510 México, D. F. México
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