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Engineering Curcumin Biosynthesis in Poplar Affects Lignification and Biomass Yield

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Abstract
Lignocellulosic biomass is recalcitrant toward deconstruction into simple sugars mainly due to the presence of lignin. By engineering plants to partially replace traditional lignin monomers with alternative ones, lignin degradability and extractability can be enhanced. Previously, the alternative monomer curcumin has been successfully produced and incorporated into lignified cell walls of Arabidopsis by the heterologous expression of DIKETIDE-CoA SYNTHASE (DCS) and CURCUMIN SYNTHASE2 (CURS2). The resulting transgenic plants did not suffer from yield penalties and had an increased saccharification yield after alkaline pretreatment. Here, we translated this strategy into the bio-energy crop poplar. Via the heterologous expression of DCS and CURS2 under the control of the secondary cell wall CELLULOSE SYNTHASE A8-B promoter (ProCesA8-B), curcumin was also produced and incorporated into the lignified cell walls of poplar. ProCesA8-B:DCS_CURS2 transgenic poplars, however, suffered from shoot-tip necrosis and yield penalties. Compared to that of the wild-type (WT), the wood of transgenic poplars had 21% less cellulose, 28% more matrix polysaccharides, 23% more lignin and a significantly altered lignin composition. More specifically, ProCesA8-B:DCS_CURS2 lignin had a reduced syringyl/guaiacyl unit (S/G) ratio, an increased frequency of p-hydroxyphenyl (H) units, a decreased frequency of p-hydroxybenzoates and a higher fraction of phenylcoumaran units. Without, or with alkaline or hot water pretreatment, the saccharification efficiency of the transgenic lines was equal to that of the WT. These differences in (growth) phenotype illustrate that translational research in crops is essential to assess the value of an engineering strategy for applications. Further fine-tuning of this research strategy (e.g., by using more specific promoters or by translating this strategy to other crops such as maize) might lead to transgenic bio-energy crops with cell walls more amenable to deconstruction without settling in yield.
Keywords
Plant Science, lignin, lignin engineering, alternative lignin monomers, poplar, curcumin, translational research, DOWN-REGULATION, LIGNIN DEPOSITION, ALKALINE-DEGRADATION, ARABIDOPSIS, EXPRESSION, SYNTHASE, COA, CELLULOSE, XYLEM, SACCHARIFICATION

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Citation

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MLA
De Meester, Barbara, et al. “Engineering Curcumin Biosynthesis in Poplar Affects Lignification and Biomass Yield.” FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE, vol. 13, 2022, doi:10.3389/fpls.2022.943349.
APA
De Meester, B., Oyarce Sgro, P., Vanholme, R., Van Acker, R., Tsuji, Y., Vangeel, T., … Boerjan, W. (2022). Engineering Curcumin Biosynthesis in Poplar Affects Lignification and Biomass Yield. FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE, 13. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2022.943349
Chicago author-date
De Meester, Barbara, Paula Oyarce Sgro, Ruben Vanholme, Rebecca Van Acker, Yukiko Tsuji, Thijs Vangeel, Sander Van den Bosch, et al. 2022. “Engineering Curcumin Biosynthesis in Poplar Affects Lignification and Biomass Yield.” FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE 13. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2022.943349.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Meester, Barbara, Paula Oyarce Sgro, Ruben Vanholme, Rebecca Van Acker, Yukiko Tsuji, Thijs Vangeel, Sander Van den Bosch, Jan Van Doorsselaere, Bert Sels, John Ralph, and Wout Boerjan. 2022. “Engineering Curcumin Biosynthesis in Poplar Affects Lignification and Biomass Yield.” FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE 13. doi:10.3389/fpls.2022.943349.
Vancouver
1.
De Meester B, Oyarce Sgro P, Vanholme R, Van Acker R, Tsuji Y, Vangeel T, et al. Engineering Curcumin Biosynthesis in Poplar Affects Lignification and Biomass Yield. FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE. 2022;13.
IEEE
[1]
B. De Meester et al., “Engineering Curcumin Biosynthesis in Poplar Affects Lignification and Biomass Yield,” FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE, vol. 13, 2022.
@article{8760811,
  abstract     = {{Lignocellulosic biomass is recalcitrant toward deconstruction into simple sugars mainly due to the presence of lignin. By engineering plants to partially replace traditional lignin monomers with alternative ones, lignin degradability and extractability can be enhanced. Previously, the alternative monomer curcumin has been successfully produced and incorporated into lignified cell walls of Arabidopsis by the heterologous expression of DIKETIDE-CoA SYNTHASE (DCS) and CURCUMIN SYNTHASE2 (CURS2). The resulting transgenic plants did not suffer from yield penalties and had an increased saccharification yield after alkaline pretreatment. Here, we translated this strategy into the bio-energy crop poplar. Via the heterologous expression of DCS and CURS2 under the control of the secondary cell wall CELLULOSE SYNTHASE A8-B promoter (ProCesA8-B), curcumin was also produced and incorporated into the lignified cell walls of poplar. ProCesA8-B:DCS_CURS2 transgenic poplars, however, suffered from shoot-tip necrosis and yield penalties. Compared to that of the wild-type (WT), the wood of transgenic poplars had 21% less cellulose, 28% more matrix polysaccharides, 23% more lignin and a significantly altered lignin composition. More specifically, ProCesA8-B:DCS_CURS2 lignin had a reduced syringyl/guaiacyl unit (S/G) ratio, an increased frequency of p-hydroxyphenyl (H) units, a decreased frequency of p-hydroxybenzoates and a higher fraction of phenylcoumaran units. Without, or with alkaline or hot water pretreatment, the saccharification efficiency of the transgenic lines was equal to that of the WT. These differences in (growth) phenotype illustrate that translational research in crops is essential to assess the value of an engineering strategy for applications. Further fine-tuning of this research strategy (e.g., by using more specific promoters or by translating this strategy to other crops such as maize) might lead to transgenic bio-energy crops with cell walls more amenable to deconstruction without settling in yield.}},
  articleno    = {{943349}},
  author       = {{De Meester, Barbara and Oyarce Sgro, Paula and Vanholme, Ruben and Van Acker, Rebecca and Tsuji, Yukiko and Vangeel, Thijs and Van den Bosch, Sander and Van Doorsselaere, Jan and Sels, Bert and Ralph, John and Boerjan, Wout}},
  issn         = {{1664-462X}},
  journal      = {{FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE}},
  keywords     = {{Plant Science,lignin,lignin engineering,alternative lignin monomers,poplar,curcumin,translational research,DOWN-REGULATION,LIGNIN DEPOSITION,ALKALINE-DEGRADATION,ARABIDOPSIS,EXPRESSION,SYNTHASE,COA,CELLULOSE,XYLEM,SACCHARIFICATION}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  pages        = {{15}},
  title        = {{Engineering Curcumin Biosynthesis in Poplar Affects Lignification and Biomass Yield}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2022.943349}},
  volume       = {{13}},
  year         = {{2022}},
}

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