Angew Chem Int Ed Engl (May 12 2020)
Growing plants with modified cell wall compositions is a promising strategy to improve resistance to pathogens, increase biomass digestibility, and tune other important properties. In order to alter biomass architecture, a detailed knowledge of cell wall structure and biosynthesis is a prerequisite. We report here a glycan array-based assay for the high-throughput identification and characterization of plant cell wall biosynthetic glycosyltransferases (GTs). We demonstrate that different heterologously expressed galactosyl-, fucosyl-, and xylosyltransferases can transfer azido-functionalized sugar nucleotide donors to selected synthetic plant cell wall oligosaccharides on the array and that the transferred monosaccharides can be visualized “on chip” by a 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition reaction with an alkynyl-modified dye. The opportunity to simultaneously screen thousands of combinations of putative GTs, nucleotide sugar donors, and oligosaccharide acceptors will dramatically accelerate plant cell wall biosynthesis research.