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Title: Knockdown of a Laccase in Populus deltoides Confers Altered Cell Wall Chemistry and Increased Sugar Release

Plant laccases are thought to function in the oxidation of monolignols which leads to higher order lignin formation. Only a hand-full of laccases in plants have been functionally evaluated and as such little is known about the breadth of their impact on cell wall chemistry or structure. Here we describe a previously uncharacterized laccase from Populus, encoded by locus Potri.008G064000, whose reduced expression resulted in transgenic Populus trees with changes in syringyl/guaiacyl (S/G) ratios as well as altered sugar release phenotypes. These phenotypes are consistent with plant biomass exhibiting reduced recalcitrance. Interestingly, the transgene effect on recalcitrance is dependent on a mild pretreatment prior to chemical extraction of sugars. Metabolite profiling suggests the transgene modulates phenolics that are associated with the cell wall structure. We propose that this particular laccase has a range of functions related to oxidation of phenolics and conjugation of flavonoids that interact with lignin in the cell wall.
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Publication Date:
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Report Number(s):
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Plant Biotechnology Journal; Journal Volume: 14; Journal Issue: 10
Research Org:
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
This work was funded by the Department of Energy, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, with National Renewable Energy Laboratory (MLG) number DE-AC36-08GC28308z.
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANAYLYTICAL CHEMISTRY Populus; biofuel; cell wall; xylose; lignin; recalcitrance