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Title: Systems and synthetic biology approaches to alter plant cell walls and reduce biomass recalcitrance

Fine-tuning plant cell wall properties to render plant biomass more amenable to biofuel conversion is a colossal challenge. A deep knowledge of the biosynthesis and regulation of plant cell wall and a high-precision genome engineering toolset are the two essential pillars of efforts to alter plant cell walls and reduce biomass recalcitrance. The past decade has seen a meteoric rise in use of transcriptomics and high-resolution imaging methods resulting in fresh insights into composition, structure, formation and deconstruction of plant cell walls. Subsequent gene manipulation approaches, however, commonly include ubiquitous mis-expression of a single candidate gene in a host that carries an intact copy of the native gene. The challenges posed by pleiotropic and unintended changes resulting from such an approach are moving the field towards synthetic biology approaches. Finally, synthetic biology builds on a systems biology knowledge base and leverages high-precision tools for high-throughput assembly of multigene constructs and pathways, precision genome editing and site-specific gene stacking, silencing and/or removal. Here, we summarize the recent breakthroughs in biosynthesis and remodelling of major secondary cell wall components, assess the impediments in obtaining a systems-level understanding and explore the potential opportunities in leveraging synthetic biology approaches to reduce biomass recalcitrance.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Biosciences Division
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Plant Biotechnology Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 12; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 1467-7644
Publisher:
Society for Experimental Biology; Association of Applied Biology
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; biomass; biofuels; recalcitrance; plant cell wall; synthetic biology; systems biology
OSTI Identifier:
1229579
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1185595; OSTI ID: 1229580