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      Suppression of a single BAHD gene in Setaria viridis causes large, stable decreases in cell wall feruloylation and increases biomass digestibility

      1 , 1 , 2 , 2 , 2 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 3 , 3 , 3 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 7 , 7 , 8 , 9 , , 2 , , 1

      The New Phytologist

      John Wiley and Sons Inc.

      cell wall acylation, ferulic acid, grass evolution, hydroxycinnamates, lignocellulosic feedstock

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          • Feruloylation of arabinoxylan ( AX) in grass cell walls is a key determinant of recalcitrance to enzyme attack, making it a target for improvement of grass crops, and of interest in grass evolution. Definitive evidence on the genes responsible is lacking so we studied a candidate gene that we identified within the BAHD acyl‐CoA transferase family.

          • We used RNA interference (RNAi) silencing of orthologs in the model grasses Setaria viridis ( Sv BAHD01 ) and Brachypodium distachyon ( Bd BAHD01 ) and determined effects on AX feruloylation.

          • Silencing of Sv BAHD01 in Setaria resulted in a c. 60% decrease in AX feruloylation in stems consistently across four generations. Silencing of Bd BAHD01 in Brachypodium stems decreased feruloylation much less, possibly due to higher expression of functionally redundant genes. Setaria Sv BAHD01 RNAi plants showed: no decrease in total lignin, approximately doubled arabinose acylated by p‐coumarate, changes in two‐dimensional NMR spectra of unfractionated cell walls consistent with biochemical estimates, no effect on total biomass production and an increase in biomass saccharification efficiency of 40–60%.

          • We provide the first strong evidence for a key role of the BAHD01 gene in AX feruloylation and demonstrate that it is a promising target for improvement of grass crops for biofuel, biorefining and animal nutrition applications.


          See also the Commentary on this article by Gómez & McQueen‐Mason, 218: 5–7 .

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          Most cited references 39

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          Hemicelluloses are polysaccharides in plant cell walls that have beta-(1-->4)-linked backbones with an equatorial configuration. Hemicelluloses include xyloglucans, xylans, mannans and glucomannans, and beta-(1-->3,1-->4)-glucans. These types of hemicelluloses are present in the cell walls of all terrestrial plants, except for beta-(1-->3,1-->4)-glucans, which are restricted to Poales and a few other groups. The detailed structure of the hemicelluloses and their abundance vary widely between different species and cell types. The most important biological role of hemicelluloses is their contribution to strengthening the cell wall by interaction with cellulose and, in some walls, with lignin. These features are discussed in relation to widely accepted models of the primary wall. Hemicelluloses are synthesized by glycosyltransferases located in the Golgi membranes. Many glycosyltransferases needed for biosynthesis of xyloglucans and mannans are known. In contrast, the biosynthesis of xylans and beta-(1-->3,1-->4)-glucans remains very elusive, and recent studies have led to more questions than answers.
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            Streaming fragment assignment for real-time analysis of sequencing experiments

            We present eXpress, a software package for highly efficient probabilistic assignment of ambiguously mapping sequenced fragments. eXpress uses a streaming algorithm with linear run time and constant memory use. It can determine abundances of sequenced molecules in real time, and can be applied to ChIP-seq, metagenomics and other large-scale sequencing data. We demonstrate its use on RNA-seq data, showing greater efficiency than other quantification methods.
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              Data access for the 1,000 Plants (1KP) project

              The 1,000 plants (1KP) project is an international multi-disciplinary consortium that has generated transcriptome data from over 1,000 plant species, with exemplars for all of the major lineages across the Viridiplantae (green plants) clade. Here, we describe how to access the data used in a phylogenomics analysis of the first 85 species, and how to visualize our gene and species trees. Users can develop computational pipelines to analyse these data, in conjunction with data of their own that they can upload. Computationally estimated protein-protein interactions and biochemical pathways can be visualized at another site. Finally, we comment on our future plans and how they fit within this scalable system for the dissemination, visualization, and analysis of large multi-species data sets.

                Author and article information

                New Phytol
                New Phytol
                The New Phytologist
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                08 January 2018
                April 2018
                : 218
                : 1 ( doiID: 10.1111/nph.2018.218.issue-1 )
                : 81-93
                [ 1 ] Embrapa Agroenergy Brasília DF 70770901 Brazil
                [ 2 ] Plant Sciences Rothamsted Research Harpenden, Hertfordshire AL5 2JQ UK
                [ 3 ] Department of Biochemistry State University of Maringá Maringá, Paraná 87020‐900 Brazil
                [ 4 ] Brazilian Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory Brazilian Center for Research in Energy and Materials Campinas, Sao Paulo 13083‐100 Brazil
                [ 5 ] Programa de Processos Tecnológicos e Ambientais Universidade de Sorocaba (UNISO) Sorocaba 18060‐000 Brazil
                [ 6 ] Centre of Natural Sciences and Humanities Federal University of ABC São Bernardo do Campo SP 09606‐045 Brazil
                [ 7 ] Department of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry Institute of Botany Sao Paulo 04301‐012, 04301‐902 Brazil
                [ 8 ] Department of Biochemistry University of Wisconsin Madison WI 537 USA
                [ 9 ] Department of Energy's Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center Wisconsin Energy Institute University of Wisconsin Madison WI 537 USA
                Author notes
                [* ] Authors for correspondence:

                Rowan A. C. Mitchell

                Tel: +44 1582 938469

                Email: rowan.mitchell@ 123456rothamsted.ac.uk

                Hugo B. C. Molinari

                Tel: +55 61 3448‐2307

                Email: hugo.molinari@ 123456embrapa.br


                These authors contributed equally to this work.

                NPH14970 2017-25462
                © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust

                This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 0, Pages: 13, Words: 8603
                Funded by: FAPESP
                Award ID: 2016/07926‐4
                Funded by: Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES‐Embrapa) and Embrapa Macroprogram SEG
                Award ID:
                Award ID: BB/K013335/1
                Award ID: BBSRC‐GCRF‐IAA/RIA‐6
                Award ID: BB/K007599/1
                Funded by: UK Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council
                Funded by: Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
                Award ID: DE‐FC02‐07ER64494
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                April 2018
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