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Different routes for conifer- and sinapaldehyde and higher saccharification upon deficiency in the dehydrogenase CAD1

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

In the search for renewable energy sources, genetic engineering is a promising strategy to improve plant cell wall composition for biofuel and bioproducts generation. Lignin is a major factor determining saccharification efficiency and, therefore, is a prime target to engineer. Here, lignin content and composition were modified in poplar (Populus tremula 3 Populus alba) by specifically down-regulating CINNAMYL ALCOHOL DEHYDROGENASE1 (CAD1) by a hairpin-RNA-mediated silencing approach, which resulted in only 5% residual CAD1 transcript abundance. These transgenic lines showed no biomass penalty despite a 10% reduction in Klason lignin content and severe shifts in lignin composition. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and thioacidolysis revealed a strong increase (up to 20-fold) in sinapaldehyde incorporation into lignin, whereas coniferaldehyde was not increased markedly. Accordingly, ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based phenolic profiling revealed a more than 24,000-fold accumulation of a newly identified compound made from 8-8 coupling of two sinapaldehyde radicals. However, no additional cinnamaldehyde coupling products could be detected in the CAD1-deficient poplars. Instead, the transgenic lines accumulated a range of hydroxycinnamate-derived metabolites, of which the most prominent accumulation (over 8,500-fold) was observed for a compound that was identified by purification and nuclear magnetic resonance as syringyl lactic acid hexoside. Our data suggest that, upon down-regulation of CAD1, coniferaldehyde is converted into ferulic acid and derivatives, whereas sinapaldehyde is either oxidatively coupled into S'(8-8) S' and lignin or converted to sinapic acid and derivatives. The most prominent sink of the increased flux to hydroxycinnamates is syringyl lactic acid hexoside. Furthermore, low-extent saccharification assays, under different pretreatment conditions, showed strongly increased glucose (up to +81%) and xylose (up to +153%) release, suggesting that down-regulating CAD1 is a promising strategy for improving lignocellulosic biomass for the sugar platform industry.
Tijdschrift: Plant Physiology
ISSN: 0032-0889
Issue: 3
Volume: 175
Pagina's: 1018 - 1039
Jaar van publicatie:2017