Nanospherical arabinogalactan proteins are a key component of the high-strength adhesive secreted by English ivy
Despite the significant progress that has been made in exploring the molecular basis for multiple adhesive events in the animal kingdom, the exceptional adhesion behaviors of climbing plants, such as English ivy, are still poorly understood. In this study, the spheroidal nanoparticles observed in the mucilage exuded by the English ivy were identified to be predominantly composed of arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs). The roles of these AGP-rich nanoparticles in favoring the generation of strong adhesion strength are elucidated. The Ca2+-driven electrostatic interactions among uronic acids within AGPs and pectin upon curing could be exploited as guidelines in the design and fabrication of novel synthetic adhesives, and the ivy-derived adhesive composite is capable of serving as a template for inspiring the development of diverse adhesive biomaterials.