1 Section for Plant Glycobiology, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet2 Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet3 Food Microbiology, Department of Food Science, Faculty of Life Sciences, Københavns Universitet4 Skidmore College5 Section for Plant Glycobiology, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet6 Food Microbiology, Department of Food Science, Faculty of Life Sciences, Københavns Universitet
The Archaeplastida consists of three lineages, Rhodophyta, Virideplantae and Glaucophyta. The extracellular matrix of most members of the Rhodophyta and Viridiplantae consists of carbohydrate-based or a highly glycosylated protein-based cell wall while the Glaucophyte covering is poorly resolved. In order to elucidate possible evolutionary links between the three advanced lineages in Archaeplastida, a genomic analysis was initiated. Fully sequenced genomes from the Rhodophyta and Virideplantae and the well-defined CAZy database on glycosyltransferases were included in the analysis. The number of glycosyltransferases found in the Rhodophyta and Chlorophyta are generally much lower then in land plants (Embryophyta). Three specific features exhibited by land plants increase the number of glycosyltransferases in their genomes: (1) cell wall biosynthesis, the more complex land plant cell walls require a larger number of glycosyltransferases for biosynthesis, (2) a richer set of protein glycosylation, and (3) glycosylation of secondary metabolites, demonstrated by a large proportion of family GT1 being involved in secondary metabolite biosynthesis. In a comparative analysis of polysaccharide biosynthesis amongst the taxa of this study, clear distinctions or similarities were observed in (1) N-linked protein glycosylation, i.e., Chlorophyta has different mannosylation and glucosylation patterns, (2) GPI anchor biosynthesis, which is apparently missing in the Rhodophyta and truncated in the Chlorophyta, (3) cell wall biosynthesis, where the land plants have unique cell wall related polymers not found in green and red algae, and (4) O-linked glycosylation where comprehensive orthology was observed in glycosylation between the Chlorophyta and land plants but not between the target proteins.