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Title: Sugar Release and Growth of Biofuel Crops are Improved by Downregulation of Pectin Biosynthesis

Abstract

Cell walls in crops and trees have been engineered for production of biofuels and commodity chemicals, but engineered varieties often fail multi-year field trials and are not commercialized. We engineered reduced expression of a pectin biosynthesis gene (Galacturonosyltransferase 4, GAUT4) in switchgrass and poplar, and find that this improves biomass yields and sugar release from biomass processing. Both traits were maintained in a 3-year field trial of GAUT4-knockdown switchgrass, with up to sevenfold increased saccharification and ethanol production and sixfold increased biomass yield compared with control plants. We show that GAUT4 is an a-1,4-galacturonosyltransferase that synthesizes homogalacturonan (HG). Downregulation of GAUT4 reduces HG and rhamnogalacturonan II (RGII), reduces wall calcium and boron, and increases extractability of cell wall sugars. Decreased recalcitrance in biomass processing and increased growth are likely due to reduced HG and RGII cross-linking in the cell wall.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [3];  [3];  [5];  [4];  [6];  [5];  [5];  [7];  [7] more »;  [7];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [8];  [8];  [8];  [8];  [8];  [9];  [9];  [8];  [2];  [2];  [8];  [5];  [8];  [5];  [7];  [10];  [4];  [2] « less
  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. University of Georgia; Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  3. Oak Ridge National Laboratory; UT-ORNL Joint Institute for Biological Sciences
  4. Oak Ridge National Laboratory; University of Tennessee
  5. Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Noble Research Institute
  6. University of Georgia
  7. Oak Ridge National Laboratory; University of Georgia
  8. Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  9. Oak Ridge National Laboratory; ArborGen, Inc.
  10. Oak Ridge National Laboratory; UT-ORNL Joint Institute for Biological Sciences; University of Tennessee
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Office of Biological and Environmental Research; USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Bioenergy Technologies Office (EE-3B)
OSTI Identifier:
1424575
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-2700-70753
Journal ID: ISSN 1087-0156
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nature Biotechnology; Journal Volume: 36; Journal Issue: 3
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; bioenergy; cell wall; pectin; growth; recalcitrance; crosslink

Citation Formats

Donohoe, Bryon S, Sykes, Robert W, Gjersing, Erica L, Ziebell, Angela, Turner, Geoffrey, Decker, Steve, Davis, Mark F, Biswal, Ajaya K., Atmodjo, Melani A., Li, Mi, Baxter, Holly L., Yoo, Chang Geun, Pu, Yunqiao, Lee, Yi-Ching, Mazarei, Mitra, Black, Ian M., Zhang, Ji-Yi, Ramanna, Hema, Bray, Adam L., King, Zachary R., LaFayette, Peter R., Pattathil, Sivakumar, Mohanty, Sushree S., Ryno, David, Yee, Kelsey, Thompson, Olivia A., Rodriguez Jr., Miguel, Dumitrache, Alexandru, Natzke, Jace, Winkeler, Kim, Collins, Cassandra, Yang, Xiaohan, Tan, Li, Hahn, Michael G., Davison, Brian H., Udvardi, Michael K., Mielenz, Jonathan R., Nelson, Richard S., Parrott, Wayne A., Ragauskas, Arthur J., Stewart Jr., C. Neal, and Mohnen, Debra. Sugar Release and Growth of Biofuel Crops are Improved by Downregulation of Pectin Biosynthesis. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/nbt.4067.
Donohoe, Bryon S, Sykes, Robert W, Gjersing, Erica L, Ziebell, Angela, Turner, Geoffrey, Decker, Steve, Davis, Mark F, Biswal, Ajaya K., Atmodjo, Melani A., Li, Mi, Baxter, Holly L., Yoo, Chang Geun, Pu, Yunqiao, Lee, Yi-Ching, Mazarei, Mitra, Black, Ian M., Zhang, Ji-Yi, Ramanna, Hema, Bray, Adam L., King, Zachary R., LaFayette, Peter R., Pattathil, Sivakumar, Mohanty, Sushree S., Ryno, David, Yee, Kelsey, Thompson, Olivia A., Rodriguez Jr., Miguel, Dumitrache, Alexandru, Natzke, Jace, Winkeler, Kim, Collins, Cassandra, Yang, Xiaohan, Tan, Li, Hahn, Michael G., Davison, Brian H., Udvardi, Michael K., Mielenz, Jonathan R., Nelson, Richard S., Parrott, Wayne A., Ragauskas, Arthur J., Stewart Jr., C. Neal, & Mohnen, Debra. Sugar Release and Growth of Biofuel Crops are Improved by Downregulation of Pectin Biosynthesis. United States. doi:10.1038/nbt.4067.
Donohoe, Bryon S, Sykes, Robert W, Gjersing, Erica L, Ziebell, Angela, Turner, Geoffrey, Decker, Steve, Davis, Mark F, Biswal, Ajaya K., Atmodjo, Melani A., Li, Mi, Baxter, Holly L., Yoo, Chang Geun, Pu, Yunqiao, Lee, Yi-Ching, Mazarei, Mitra, Black, Ian M., Zhang, Ji-Yi, Ramanna, Hema, Bray, Adam L., King, Zachary R., LaFayette, Peter R., Pattathil, Sivakumar, Mohanty, Sushree S., Ryno, David, Yee, Kelsey, Thompson, Olivia A., Rodriguez Jr., Miguel, Dumitrache, Alexandru, Natzke, Jace, Winkeler, Kim, Collins, Cassandra, Yang, Xiaohan, Tan, Li, Hahn, Michael G., Davison, Brian H., Udvardi, Michael K., Mielenz, Jonathan R., Nelson, Richard S., Parrott, Wayne A., Ragauskas, Arthur J., Stewart Jr., C. Neal, and Mohnen, Debra. Mon . "Sugar Release and Growth of Biofuel Crops are Improved by Downregulation of Pectin Biosynthesis". United States. doi:10.1038/nbt.4067.
@article{osti_1424575,
title = {Sugar Release and Growth of Biofuel Crops are Improved by Downregulation of Pectin Biosynthesis},
author = {Donohoe, Bryon S and Sykes, Robert W and Gjersing, Erica L and Ziebell, Angela and Turner, Geoffrey and Decker, Steve and Davis, Mark F and Biswal, Ajaya K. and Atmodjo, Melani A. and Li, Mi and Baxter, Holly L. and Yoo, Chang Geun and Pu, Yunqiao and Lee, Yi-Ching and Mazarei, Mitra and Black, Ian M. and Zhang, Ji-Yi and Ramanna, Hema and Bray, Adam L. and King, Zachary R. and LaFayette, Peter R. and Pattathil, Sivakumar and Mohanty, Sushree S. and Ryno, David and Yee, Kelsey and Thompson, Olivia A. and Rodriguez Jr., Miguel and Dumitrache, Alexandru and Natzke, Jace and Winkeler, Kim and Collins, Cassandra and Yang, Xiaohan and Tan, Li and Hahn, Michael G. and Davison, Brian H. and Udvardi, Michael K. and Mielenz, Jonathan R. and Nelson, Richard S. and Parrott, Wayne A. and Ragauskas, Arthur J. and Stewart Jr., C. Neal and Mohnen, Debra},
abstractNote = {Cell walls in crops and trees have been engineered for production of biofuels and commodity chemicals, but engineered varieties often fail multi-year field trials and are not commercialized. We engineered reduced expression of a pectin biosynthesis gene (Galacturonosyltransferase 4, GAUT4) in switchgrass and poplar, and find that this improves biomass yields and sugar release from biomass processing. Both traits were maintained in a 3-year field trial of GAUT4-knockdown switchgrass, with up to sevenfold increased saccharification and ethanol production and sixfold increased biomass yield compared with control plants. We show that GAUT4 is an a-1,4-galacturonosyltransferase that synthesizes homogalacturonan (HG). Downregulation of GAUT4 reduces HG and rhamnogalacturonan II (RGII), reduces wall calcium and boron, and increases extractability of cell wall sugars. Decreased recalcitrance in biomass processing and increased growth are likely due to reduced HG and RGII cross-linking in the cell wall.},
doi = {10.1038/nbt.4067},
journal = {Nature Biotechnology},
number = 3,
volume = 36,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Feb 12 00:00:00 EST 2018},
month = {Mon Feb 12 00:00:00 EST 2018}
}