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ARABIDOPSIS DEHISCENCE ZONE POLYGALACTURONASE 1 (ADPG1) releases latent defense signals in stems with reduced lignin content

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

There is considerable interest in engineering plant cell wall components, particularly lignin, to improve forage quality and biomass properties for processing to fuels and bioproducts. However, modifying lignin content and/or composition in transgenic plants through down-regulation of lignin biosynthetic enzymes can induce expression of defense response genes in the absence of biotic or abiotic stress. Arabidopsis thaliana lines with altered lignin through down-regulation of hydroxycinnamoyl CoA:shikimate/quinate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase (HCT) or loss of function of cinnamoyl CoA reductase 1 (CCR1) express a suite of pathogenesis-related (PR) protein genes. The plants also exhibit extensive cell wall remodeling associated with induction of multiple cell wall-degrading enzymes, a process which renders the corresponding biomass a substrate for growth of the cellulolytic thermophile Caldicellulosiruptor bescii lacking a functional pectinase gene cluster. The cell wall remodeling also results in the release of size- and charge-heterogeneous pectic oligosaccharide elicitors of PR gene expression. Genetic analysis shows that both in planta PR gene expression and release of elicitors are the result of ectopic expression in xylem of the gene ARABIDOPSIS DEHISCENCE ZONE POLYGALACTURONASE 1 (ADPG1), which is normally expressed during anther and silique dehiscence. These data highlight the importance of pectin in cell wall integrity and the value of lignin modification as a tool to interrogate the informational content of plant cell walls.
Journal: PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
ISSN: 1091-6490
Issue: 6
Volume: 117
Pages: 3281 - 3290
Publication year:2020