Rhamnogalacturonan I (RGI) is a pectic polysaccharide composed of a backbone of alternating rhamnose and galacturonic acid residues with side chains containing galactose and/or arabinose residues. The structure of these side chains and the degree of substitution of rhamnose residues are extremely variable and depend on species, organs, cell types and developmental stages. Deciphering RGI function requires extending the current set of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed to this polymer. Here, we describe the generation of a new mAb that recognizes a heterogeneous subdomain of RGI. The mAb, INRA-AGI-1, was produced by immunization of mice with RGI oligosaccharides isolated from potato tubers. These oligomers consisted of highly branched RGI backbones substituted with short side chains. INRA-AGI-1 bound specifically to RGI isolated from galactan-rich cell walls and displayed no binding to other pectic domains. In order to identify its RGI-related epitope, potato RGI oligosaccharides were fractionated by anion-exchange chromatography. Antibody recognition was assessed for each chromatographic fraction. INRA-AGI-1 recognizes a linear chain of (1→4)-linked galactose and (1→5)-linked arabinose residues. By combining the use of INRA-AGI-1 with LM5, LM6 and INRA-RU1 mAbs and enzymatic pre-treatments, evidence is presented of spatial differences in RGI motif distribution within individual cell walls of potato tubers and carrot roots. These observations raise questions about the biosynthesis and assembly of pectin structural domains and their integration and remodeling in cell walls.
Plant and Cell Physiology, 2015, 56 (11), pp. 2181 - 2196