Glucoxylan, a new type of polysaccharide, has been found in barley by researchers in Australia. Glucoyylan is a combination of glucose and xylose, which is said to be a rare combination, despite being found often separately in all kinds of cereals.
Glycoxylan is also found in 'ulva’marine algae, said the researchers from the University of Adelaide's School of Agriculture, Food and Wine.
The published research from the American Chemistry Society journal ACS Central Science showed that this polysaccharide occurred because of the biosynthesis (production of complex molecules within living organisms or cells) in plants and is a byproduct of evolution.
“A common hypothesis is that the redundancy of gene duplication facilitates the evolution of novel enzyme function,” according to the research.
The researchers said that further detailed research will be needed to understand the different uses of this polysaccharide. The genes responsible for this biosynthesis can be found in other crops as well, but further studies will be required to confirm that.
“By observing the natural variation of the polysaccharide in different cereal crops, we will aim to identify links to important agricultural traits,” says Alan Little, the author of the study.
This research if conducted can be extremely useful to understand the uses of carbohydrates for scientists in India, as barley is grown in many Indian states like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, and West Bengal.