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REVIEW: Plant Oligosaccharides – Outsiders among Elicitors?

I. A. Larskaya and T. A. Gorshkova*

Kazan Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Kazan Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, 420111 Kazan, Russia; fax: (843) 292-7347; E-mail: gorshkova@kibb.knc.ru

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received February 9, 2015; Revision received March 16, 2015
This review substantiates the need to study the plant oligoglycome. The available information on oligosaccharins – physiologically active fragments of plant cell wall polysaccharides – is summarized. The diversity of such compounds in chemical composition, origin, and proved biological activity is highlighted. At the same time, plant oligosaccharides can be considered as outsiders among elicitors of various natures in research intensity of recent decades. This review discusses the reasons for such attitude towards these regulators, which are largely connected with difficulties in isolation and identification. Together with that, approaches are suggested whose potentials can be used to study oligosaccharins. The topics of oligosaccharide metabolism in plants, including the ways of formation, transport, and inactivation are presented, together with data on biological activity and interaction with plant hormones. The current viewpoints on the mode of oligosaccharin action – perception, signal transduction, and possible “targets” – are considered. The potential uses of such compounds in medicine, food industry, agriculture, and biotechnology are discussed.
KEY WORDS: plant oligosaccharides, oligosaccharins, cell wall, oligoglycome

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297915070081