Since the series of reviews published in the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, much progress has been made in understanding the enzymology of fructan polymerization and depolymerization in grasses. The availability of purified and well defined fructans for use as substrates and the technical ability to conclusively identify reaction products has allowed definition of the reactions catalyzed by purified enzymes. Expression of genes encoding fructan metabolizing enzymes in heterologous systems has provided confirmation of the biochemical and physical characteristics of proteins purified from grasses, and sometimes provides biochemical information unforeseen when studying the protein purified from a plant. The increasing molecular knowledge of fructan metabolizing enzymes from plants will provide a wealth of information regarding what is sure to become a large family of fructosyl metabolizing enzymes.
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