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Title: Metabolic engineering of p–hydroxybenzoate in poplar lignin

Abstract

Ester-linked p-hydroxybenzoate occurs naturally in poplar lignin as pendent groups that can be released by mild alkaline hydrolysis. These ‘clip-off’ phenolics can be separated from biomass and upgraded into diverse high-value bioproducts. We introduced a bacterial chorismate pyruvate lyase gene into transgenic poplar trees with the aim of producing more p-hydroxybenzoate from chorismate, itself a metabolic precursor to lignin. By driving heterologous expression specifically in the plastids of cells undergoing secondary wall formation, this strategy achieved a 50% increase in cell-wall-bound p-hydroxybenzoate in mature wood and nearly 10 times more in developing xylem relative to control trees. Comparable amounts also remained as soluble p-hydroxybenzoate-containing xylem metabolites, pointing to even greater engineering potential. Mass spectrometry imaging showed that the elevated p-hydroxybenzoylation was largely restricted to the cell walls of fibres. Finally, transgenic lines outperformed control trees in assays of saccharification potential. Here, this study highlights the biotech potential of cell-wall-bound phenolate esters and demonstrates the importance of substrate supply in lignin engineering.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC (Canada); Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), Madison, WI (United States)
  2. Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), Madison, WI (United States)
  3. Niagara University, North Tonawanda, NY (United States)
  4. Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), Madison, WI (United States); Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), Madison, WI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER)
OSTI Identifier:
1893926
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0018409
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Plant Biotechnology Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1467-7644
Publisher:
Wiley
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; cell-wall-bound phenolics; designer lignins; ester-linked pendent groups; 4-hydroxybenzoic acid; lignin engineering

Citation Formats

Mottiar, Yaseen, Karlen, Steven D., Goacher, Robyn E., Ralph, John, and Mansfield, Shawn D. Metabolic engineering of p–hydroxybenzoate in poplar lignin. United States: N. p., 2022. Web. doi:10.1111/pbi.13935.
Mottiar, Yaseen, Karlen, Steven D., Goacher, Robyn E., Ralph, John, & Mansfield, Shawn D. Metabolic engineering of p–hydroxybenzoate in poplar lignin. United States. https://doi.org/10.1111/pbi.13935
Mottiar, Yaseen, Karlen, Steven D., Goacher, Robyn E., Ralph, John, and Mansfield, Shawn D. Mon . "Metabolic engineering of p–hydroxybenzoate in poplar lignin". United States. https://doi.org/10.1111/pbi.13935. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1893926.
@article{osti_1893926,
title = {Metabolic engineering of p–hydroxybenzoate in poplar lignin},
author = {Mottiar, Yaseen and Karlen, Steven D. and Goacher, Robyn E. and Ralph, John and Mansfield, Shawn D.},
abstractNote = {Ester-linked p-hydroxybenzoate occurs naturally in poplar lignin as pendent groups that can be released by mild alkaline hydrolysis. These ‘clip-off’ phenolics can be separated from biomass and upgraded into diverse high-value bioproducts. We introduced a bacterial chorismate pyruvate lyase gene into transgenic poplar trees with the aim of producing more p-hydroxybenzoate from chorismate, itself a metabolic precursor to lignin. By driving heterologous expression specifically in the plastids of cells undergoing secondary wall formation, this strategy achieved a 50% increase in cell-wall-bound p-hydroxybenzoate in mature wood and nearly 10 times more in developing xylem relative to control trees. Comparable amounts also remained as soluble p-hydroxybenzoate-containing xylem metabolites, pointing to even greater engineering potential. Mass spectrometry imaging showed that the elevated p-hydroxybenzoylation was largely restricted to the cell walls of fibres. Finally, transgenic lines outperformed control trees in assays of saccharification potential. Here, this study highlights the biotech potential of cell-wall-bound phenolate esters and demonstrates the importance of substrate supply in lignin engineering.},
doi = {10.1111/pbi.13935},
journal = {Plant Biotechnology Journal},
number = 1,
volume = 21,
place = {United States},
year = {2022},
month = {9}
}

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