Solid-phase biosynthetic reactions, followed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry analysis (MALDI-TOF), was used to gain insight into the biosynthesis of pectin oligomers. Sepharose supports bearing long pectic oligogalacturonides (OGAs) anchored through a disulfide-containing cleavable linker, were prepared. The OGAs (degrees of polymerization of 13 and 14) were efficiently immobilized through the reducing end via formation of an oxime linkage. These OGA-derivatized matrices were subsequently employed in novel solid-phase enzymatic reactions, with the pectin biosynthetic enzyme, alpha-1,4-galacturonosyltransferase, GalAT (solubilized from Arabidopsis thaliana) and the glycosyl donor, uridine diphosphate-galacturonic acid (UDP-GalA). Solid-supported biosynthesis was followed by cleavage of the immobilized OGAs and direct analysis of the products released into the liquid phases by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. In time course studies conducted with an immobilized (alpha-D-GalA)14 and limiting amounts of the glycosyl donor, the predominant product was an OGA extended by one GalA residue at the non-reducing end (i.e., (GalA)15). When UDP-GalA was added in approximately excess compared to immobilized (GalA)13, OGAs up to the 16-mer were synthesized, confirming the non-processivity of the GalAT in vitro.