With glycosylation now firmly established across both Archaeal and bacterial proteins, a wide array of glycan diversity has become evident from structural analysis and genomic data. These discoveries have been built in part on the development and application of mass spectrometric technologies to the bacterial glycoproteome. This review highlights recent findings using high sensitivity MS of the large variation of glycans that have been reported on flagellin and pilin proteins of bacteria, using both ‘top down’ and ‘bottom up’ approaches to the characterization of these glycoproteins. We summarize current knowledge of the sugar modifications that have been observed on flagellins and pilins, in terms of both the diverse repertoire of monosaccharides observed, and the assemblage of moieties that decorate many of these sugars.

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