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Article
Repression of Lignin Biosynthesis Promotes Cellulose Accumulation and Growth in Transgenic Trees
Nature Biotechnology
  • Wen-Jing Hu, Michigan Technological University
  • Scott A. Harding, Michigan Technological University
  • Jacqueline L. Popko, Michigan Technological University
  • John Ralph, United States Department of Agriculture
  • Douglas D. Stokke, Iowa State University
  • Chung-Jui Tsai, Michigan Technological University
  • Vincent L. Chiang, Michigan Technological University
Document Type
Article
Disciplines
Publication Version
Published Version
Publication Date
8-1-1999
DOI
10.1038/11758
Abstract

Because lignin limits the use of wood for fiber, chemical, and energy production, strategies for its downregulation are of considerable interest. We have produced transgenic aspen (Populus tremuloidesMichx.) trees in which expression of a lignin biosynthetic pathway genePt4CL1 encoding 4-coumarate:coenzyme A ligase (4CL) has been downregulated by antisense inhibition. Trees with suppressed Pt4CL1expression exhibited up to a 45% reduction of lignin, but this was compensated for by a 15% increase in cellulose. As a result, the total lignin–cellulose mass remained essentially unchanged. Leaf, root, and stem growth were substantially enhanced, and structural integrity was maintained both at the cellular and whole-plant levels in the transgenic lines. Our results indicate that lignin and cellulose deposition could be regulated in a compensatory fashion, which may contribute to metabolic flexibility and a growth advantage to sustain the long-term structural integrity of woody perennials.

Comments

This article is from Nature Biotechnology 17 (1999): 808, doi:10.1038/11758.

Rights
Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.
Language
en
Date Available
2015-08-28
File Format
application/pdf
Citation Information
Wen-Jing Hu, Scott A. Harding, Jacqueline L. Popko, John Ralph, et al.. "Repression of Lignin Biosynthesis Promotes Cellulose Accumulation and Growth in Transgenic Trees" Nature Biotechnology Vol. 17 Iss. 8 (1999) p. 808 - 812
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/douglas_stokke/4/