Present address: Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Jack H. Skirball Center for Chemical Biology & Proteomics, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.
Over-expression of F5H in COMT-deficient Arabidopsis leads to enrichment of an unusual lignin and disruption of pollen wall formation
Article first published online: 4 NOV 2010
© 2010 The Authors. The Plant Journal © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
The Plant Journal
Volume 64, Issue 6, pages 898–911, December 2010
How to Cite
Weng, J.-K., Mo, H. and Chapple, C. (2010), Over-expression of F5H in COMT-deficient Arabidopsis leads to enrichment of an unusual lignin and disruption of pollen wall formation. The Plant Journal, 64: 898–911. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2010.04391.x
- Issue published online: 10 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 4 NOV 2010
- Accepted manuscript online: 5 OCT 2010 02:59PM EST
- Received 30 August 2010; revised 22 September 2010; accepted 27 September 2010; published online 4 November 2010.
- 5-hydroxy-guaiacyl lignin;
- male sterility;
- cell wall
The presence of the phenylpropanoid polymer lignin in plant cell walls impedes breakdown of polysaccharides to the fermentable sugars that are used in biofuel production. Genetically modified plants with altered lignin properties hold great promise to improve biomass degradability. Here, we describe the generation of a new type of lignin enriched in 5-hydroxy-guaiacyl units by over-expressing ferulate 5-hydroxylase in a line of Arabidopsis lacking caffeic acid O-methyltransferase. The lignin modification strategy had a profound impact on plant growth and development and cell-wall properties, and resulted in male sterility due to complete disruption of formation of the pollen wall. The modified plants showed significantly improved cell-wall enzymatic saccharification efficiency without a reduction in post-harvest biomass yield despite the alterations in the overall growth morphology. This study demonstrated the plasticity of lignin polymerization in terms of incorporation of unusual monomers that chemically resemble conventional monomers, and also revealed the link between the biosynthetic pathways of lignin and the pollen wall-forming sporopollenin.