Nucleotide sugars are the universal sugar donors for the formation of polysaccharides, glycoproteins, proteoglycans, glycolipids, and glycosylated secondary metabolites. At least 100 genes encode proteins involved in the formation of nucleotide sugars. These nucleotide sugars are formed using the carbohydrate derived from photosynthesis, the sugar generated by hydrolyzing translocated sucrose, the sugars released from storage carbohydrates, the salvage of sugars from glycoproteins and glycolipids, the recycling of sugars released during primary and secondary cell wall restructuring, and the sugar generated during plant-microbe interactions. Here we emphasize the importance of the salvage of sugars released from glycans for the formation of nucleotide sugars. We also outline how recent studies combining biochemical, genetic, molecular and cellular approaches have led to an increased appreciation of the role nucleotide sugars in all aspects of plant growth and development. Nevertheless, our understanding of these pathways at the single cell level is far from complete.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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