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Polysaccharides from litchi (Litchi chinensis) seeds were isolated and purified using ion exchange column chromatography. Molecular weight distribution of polysaccharides and monosaccharides were detected. Preliminary structural characterisation of polysaccharides was conducted using infrared, nuclear magnetic, and other spectroscopy techniques in combination with methylation analysis. In vitro cell culture experiments were designed to detect the effects of polysaccharides on cell growth and cellular glucose consumption. We extracted and analysed three polysaccharides from litchi seed. Monosaccharide composition and infrared spectroscopy detection showed that the skeleton structure of polysaccharides consisted of glucose and mannose. Polysaccharides 1 and 2 are similar and have relatively high glucose content (around 70%); polysaccharide 3 has 39.17% glucose only but is rich in arabinose (about 21.03%). In a certain range of use (50~1000 μg ml–1), polysaccharides 1 and 2 have no significant impacts on cell growth, while polysaccharide 3 can promote proliferation to some extent. All three polysaccharides can promote in vitro cellular glucose consumption, especially polysaccharide 3, which shows the strongest promotion, a significant dose effect, and synergistic effect with insulin. The above results highlight important roles of litchi seed polysaccharides in promoting cell growth and validate litchi seed polysaccharides as potential drugs for hypoglycaemia.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: N. Zhang, R.Q. Pan, J.J. Liu, X.L. Zhang, Q.N. Su, F. Cui, C.H. Zhao, L.Q. Song, J. Ji, and J.M. Li

Plants with deficiency in Gibberellins (GAs) biosynthesis pathway are sensitive to exogenous GA3, while those with deficiency in GAs signaling pathway are insensitive to exogenous GA3. Thus, exogenous GA3 test is often used to verify whether the reduced height (Rht) gene is involved in GAs biosynthesis or signaling pathway. In the present study, we identified the genetic factors responsive to exogenous GA3 at the seedling stage of common wheat and analyzed the response of the plant height related quantitative trait loci (QTL) to GA3 to understand the GAs pathways the Rht participated in. Recombinant inbred lines derived from a cross between KN9204 and J411 with different response to exogenous GA3 were used to screen QTL for the sensitivity of coleoptile length (SCL) and the sensitivity of seedling plant height (SSPH) to exogenous GA3. Two additive QTL and two pairs of epistatic QTL for SCL were identified, meanwhile, two additive QTL and three pairs of epistatic QTL for SSPH were detected. For the adult plant height (PH) investigated in two environments, six additive QTL were identified. Three QTL qScl-4B, qSsph-4B and qPh-4B were mapped in one cluster near the functional marker Rht-B1b. When PH were conditional on SSPH, the absolute additive effect value of qPh-4B and qPh-6B were reduced, suggesting that the Rhts in both two QTL were insensitive to exogenous GA3, while the additive effect values of qPh-2B, qPh-3A, qPh-3D and qPh-5A were not significantly changed, indicating that the Rhts in these QTL were sensitive to exogenous GA3, or they were not expressed at the seedling stage.

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