Trends in plant science vol:9 issue:11 pages:523-528
Fructans are fructose oligomers and polymers synthesized by a small number of plant and bacterial species and mainly function as reserve carbohydrates. The terminal fructosyl-fructose linkages can be degraded by fructan exohydrolases (FEHs), occurring in bacteria, fungi and fructan plants. Unexpectedly, it was found that FEHs also occur in non-fructan plants such as Beta vulgaris and Arabidopsis thaliana that apparently lack endogenous fructan substrates. FEHs might have defense-related roles acting on bacterial fructan-containing slimes or might act on minute (up to now undetected) amounts of fructans acting as signals in plants.