Structures, Biosynthesis, and Physiological Functions of (1,3;1,4)-β-D-Glucans

Shu Chieh Chang, Rebecka Karmakar Saldivar, Pi Hui Liang, Yves S.Y. Hsieh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


(1,3;1,4)-β-D-Glucans, also named as mixed-linkage glucans, are unbranched non-cellulosic polysaccharides containing both (1,3)- and (1,4)-β-linkages. The linkage ratio varies depending upon species origin and has a significant impact on the physicochemical properties of the (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucans. (1,3;1,4)-β-D-Glucans were thought to be unique in the grasses family (Poaceae); however, evidence has shown that (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucans are also synthesized in other taxa, including horsetail fern Equisetum, algae, lichens, and fungi, and more recently, bacteria. The enzyme involved in (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucan biosynthesis has been well studied in grasses and cereal. However, how this enzyme is able to assemble the two different linkages remains a matter of debate. Additionally, the presence of (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucan across the species evolutionarily distant from Poaceae but absence in some evolutionarily closely related species suggest that the synthesis is either highly conserved or has arisen twice as a result of convergent evolution. Here, we compare the structure of (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucans present across various taxonomic groups and provide up-to-date information on how (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucans are synthesized and their functions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number510
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 27 2021


  • (1,3
  • 1,4)-β-D-glucan
  • cell wall
  • mixed-linkage glucan
  • polysaccharide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Structures, Biosynthesis, and Physiological Functions of (1,3;1,4)-β-D-Glucans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this