Molecular genetics of fructan metabolism in perennial ryegrass Academic Article uri icon


  • Fructans are the main storage carbohydrates of temperate grasses, sustaining regrowth immediately after defoliation, as well as contributing to the nutritive value of feed. Fructan metabolism is based on the substrate sucrose and involves fructosyltransferases (FTs) for biosynthesis and fructan exohydrolases (FEHs) for degradation. Sucrose is also utilized by invertases (INVs), which hydrolyse it into its constituent monosaccharides for use in metabolism. The isolation, molecular characterization, functional analysis, and phylogenetic relationships of genes encoding FTs, FEHs, and INVs from temperate grasses are reviewed, with an emphasis on perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). The roles these enzymes play in fructan accumulation and remobilization, and future biotechnological applications in molecular plant breeding are discussed.


publication date

  • September 2005