Return to search

The polysaccharides of Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill. and Opuntia aurantiaca Lindl.

The partially acetylated acidic mucilage isolated from the cactus Opuntia ficus-indica consists of a highly branched molecule containing D-galactose, L-arabinose, D-xylose, D-galacturonic acid and L-rhamnose in the ratio 2.9:6.6:3.8:1.3 : 1.0. A partial hydrolysis study led to the isolation of fourteen oligosaccharides and a degraded polysaccharide. Periodate oxidation of the degraded polysaccharide and methylation analysis of the degraded and reduced degraded polysaccharides led to the proposal of a structure for the degraded polysaccharide consisting of a chain of alternating α-l,4-D-galactopyranosyluronic acid and β-1,2-Lrhamnopyranosyl units with branches consisting of short chains of β-1,6-D-galactopyranosyl units Iinked to C-3 of the rhamnose residues. An insight into the nature of the peripheral side-chains was obtained by methylation studies of the oligosaccharides and the native polysaccharide. The majority of the side-chains are terminated by D-xylopyranosyl and L-arabinofuranosyl units while there is a small proportion of D-galactopyranosyl end-groups. The remaining units of the peripheral chains consists of mainly 1,3- and 1,5-1 inked L-arabinofuranosyl units. The acidic polysaccharide isolated from the jointed cactus Opuntia aurantiaca contains D-galactose, L-arabinose, D-xylose, D-galacturonic acid and L-rhamnose in the ratio 5.9:5 .5:3.4: 1. 2:1.0 . A partial hydrolysis study revealed a similar series of galactose containing oligosaccharides as was identified from the mucilage of Opuntia ficus-indica. The degraded polysaccharide isolated from the partial hydrolysate was methylated and a possible structure proposed for the repeating unit. Methylation studies of the native polysaccharide indicated a polysaccharide with a more complex structure than that for the mucilage of Opuntia ficus-indica.
Date January 1977
CreatorsMcGarvie, Donald
PublisherRhodes University, Faculty of Science, Chemistry
Source SetsSouth African National ETD Portal
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeThesis, Doctoral, PhD
Format138 leaves, pdf
RightsMcGarvie, Donald

Page generated in 0.0023 seconds