Degradation of lignin β-aryl ether units in Arabidopsis thaliana expressing LigD, LigF and LigG from Sphingomonas paucimobilis SYK-6

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Lignin is a major polymer in the secondary plant cell wall and composed of hydrophobic interlinked hydroxyphenylpropanoid units. The presence of lignin hampers conversion of plant biomass into biofuels; plants with modified lignin are therefore being investigated for increased digestibility. The bacterium Sphingomonas paucimobilis produces lignin-degrading enzymes including LigD, LigF and LigG involved in cleaving the most abundant lignin inter-unit linkage, the β-aryl ether bond. In this study, we expressed the LigD, LigF and LigG (LigDFG) genes in Arabidopsis thaliana to introduce post-lignification modifications into the lignin structure. The three enzymes were targeted to the secretory pathway. Phenolic metabolite profiling and 2D HSQC NMR of the transgenic lines showed an increase in oxidized guaiacyl and syringyl units without concomitant increase in oxidized β-aryl-ether units, showing lignin bond cleavage. Saccharification yield increased significantly in transgenic lines expressing LigDFG, showing the applicability of our approach. Additional new information on substrate specificity of the LigDFG enzymes is also provided. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

TidsskriftPlant Biotechnology Journal
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)581-593
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - 2017

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