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Title: Development and Field Assessment of Transgenic Hybrid Switchgrass for Improved Biofuel Traits

Abstract

Development of commercially relevant bioenergy switchgrass cultivars requires reducing recalcitrance for bioprocessing without compromising biomass yield. Low-lignin transgenic switchgrass has been produced via down-regulation of caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT), a lignin biosynthetic enzyme, or by over-expression of the MYB4 transcription factor, a repressor of the lignin biosynthetic pathway. The aim of this study was to evaluate parents and selected hybrids obtained from COMT and MYB4 hybrid families under field conditions for agronomic performance and biomass quality. Plant height, width, number of tillers, dry weight, cell wall composition including lignin content, and sugar release were measured after the establishment year (2014) and the second growing season (2015). For COMT hybrids, biomass yield of the transgenic hybrids was similar to or greater than the wild-type parents selected for high biomass. Lignin content of COMT transgenic hybrids was reduced by 10%, S/G ratio decreased by 27%, and sugar release increased between 20% and 44% compared to their wild-type parents. These results indicate that hybridization of COMT with a high-yielding locally selected genotype resulted in both improved agronomic performance and enhanced biomass quality in the offspring. On the other hand, the MYB transgenic hybrid showed a 10% reduction in biomass yield compared with itsmore » wild-type parent in year 1, but not in year 2. The lignin S/G ratio was not reduced in MYB transgenic hybrids, nor was sugar release increased. These data indicate that the MYB transgene may not be suitable for an agronomic setting. More testing is needed of transgenic and wild-type, high-biomass selections for use as breeding parents. These results show that combining low-lignin transgenic switchgrass with a breeding and selection program for biomass yield will allow for the deployment of effective transgenes in high-yielding genetic backgrounds.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [3];  [3]; ORCiD logo [3];  [4];  [1];  [2]
  1. University of Tennessee
  2. University of Tennessee; Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  3. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  4. Noble Research Institute; Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1598971
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5100-76019
DOE Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Euphytica
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 216
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; Panicum virgatum; biomass; lignin; recalcitrance; renewable energy

Citation Formats

Alexander, Lisa, Hatcher, Catherine, Mazarei, Mitra, Haynes, Ellen, Baxter, Holly, Kim, Keonhee, Hamilton, Choo, Sykes, Robert W, Turner, Geoffrey, Davis, Mark F, Wang, Zeng-Yu, Labbe, Nicole, and Stewart Jr., C. Neal. Development and Field Assessment of Transgenic Hybrid Switchgrass for Improved Biofuel Traits. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1007/s10681-020-2558-3.
Alexander, Lisa, Hatcher, Catherine, Mazarei, Mitra, Haynes, Ellen, Baxter, Holly, Kim, Keonhee, Hamilton, Choo, Sykes, Robert W, Turner, Geoffrey, Davis, Mark F, Wang, Zeng-Yu, Labbe, Nicole, & Stewart Jr., C. Neal. Development and Field Assessment of Transgenic Hybrid Switchgrass for Improved Biofuel Traits. United States. doi:10.1007/s10681-020-2558-3.
Alexander, Lisa, Hatcher, Catherine, Mazarei, Mitra, Haynes, Ellen, Baxter, Holly, Kim, Keonhee, Hamilton, Choo, Sykes, Robert W, Turner, Geoffrey, Davis, Mark F, Wang, Zeng-Yu, Labbe, Nicole, and Stewart Jr., C. Neal. Wed . "Development and Field Assessment of Transgenic Hybrid Switchgrass for Improved Biofuel Traits". United States. doi:10.1007/s10681-020-2558-3.
@article{osti_1598971,
title = {Development and Field Assessment of Transgenic Hybrid Switchgrass for Improved Biofuel Traits},
author = {Alexander, Lisa and Hatcher, Catherine and Mazarei, Mitra and Haynes, Ellen and Baxter, Holly and Kim, Keonhee and Hamilton, Choo and Sykes, Robert W and Turner, Geoffrey and Davis, Mark F and Wang, Zeng-Yu and Labbe, Nicole and Stewart Jr., C. Neal},
abstractNote = {Development of commercially relevant bioenergy switchgrass cultivars requires reducing recalcitrance for bioprocessing without compromising biomass yield. Low-lignin transgenic switchgrass has been produced via down-regulation of caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT), a lignin biosynthetic enzyme, or by over-expression of the MYB4 transcription factor, a repressor of the lignin biosynthetic pathway. The aim of this study was to evaluate parents and selected hybrids obtained from COMT and MYB4 hybrid families under field conditions for agronomic performance and biomass quality. Plant height, width, number of tillers, dry weight, cell wall composition including lignin content, and sugar release were measured after the establishment year (2014) and the second growing season (2015). For COMT hybrids, biomass yield of the transgenic hybrids was similar to or greater than the wild-type parents selected for high biomass. Lignin content of COMT transgenic hybrids was reduced by 10%, S/G ratio decreased by 27%, and sugar release increased between 20% and 44% compared to their wild-type parents. These results indicate that hybridization of COMT with a high-yielding locally selected genotype resulted in both improved agronomic performance and enhanced biomass quality in the offspring. On the other hand, the MYB transgenic hybrid showed a 10% reduction in biomass yield compared with its wild-type parent in year 1, but not in year 2. The lignin S/G ratio was not reduced in MYB transgenic hybrids, nor was sugar release increased. These data indicate that the MYB transgene may not be suitable for an agronomic setting. More testing is needed of transgenic and wild-type, high-biomass selections for use as breeding parents. These results show that combining low-lignin transgenic switchgrass with a breeding and selection program for biomass yield will allow for the deployment of effective transgenes in high-yielding genetic backgrounds.},
doi = {10.1007/s10681-020-2558-3},
journal = {Euphytica},
number = ,
volume = 216,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {1}
}

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