Two poplar glycosyltransferase genes, PdGATL1.1 and PdGATL1.2, are functional orthologs to PARVUS/AtGATL1 in Arabidopsis.
ABSTRACT Several genes in Arabidopsis, including PARVUS/AtGATL1, have been implicated in xylan synthesis. However, the biosynthesis of xylan in woody plants, where this polysaccharide is a major component of wood, is poorly understood. Here, we characterize two Populus genes, PdGATL1.1 and PdGATL1.2, the closest orthologs to the Arabidopsis PARVUS/GATL1 gene, with respect to their gene expression in poplar, their sub-cellular localization, and their ability to complement the parvus mutation in Arabidopsis. Overexpression of the two poplar genes in the parvus mutant rescued most of the defects caused by the parvus mutation, including morphological changes, collapsed xylem, and altered cell wall monosaccharide composition. Quantitative RT-PCR showed that PdGATL1.1 is expressed most strongly in developing xylem of poplar. In contrast, PdGATL1.2 is expressed much more uniformly in leaf, shoot tip, cortex, phloem, and xylem, and the transcript level of PdGATL1.2 is much lower than that of PdGATL1.1 in all tissues examined. Sub-cellular localization experiments showed that these two proteins are localized to both ER and Golgi in comparison with marker proteins resident to these sub-cellular compartments. Our data indicate that PdGATL1.1 and PdGATL1.2 are functional orthologs of PARVUS/GATL1 and can play a role in xylan synthesis, but may also have role(s) in the synthesis of other wall polymers.
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ABSTRACT: The inherent recalcitrance of woody bioenergy feedstocks is a major challenge for their use as a source of second-generation biofuel. Secondary cell walls that constitute the majority of hardwood biomass are rich in cellulose, xylan, and lignin. The interactions among these polymers prevent facile accessibility and deconstruction by enzymes and chemicals. Plant biomass that can with minimal pretreatment be degraded into sugars is required to produce renewable biofuels in a cost-effective manner. GAUT12/IRX8 is a putative glycosyltransferase proposed to be involved in secondary cell wall glucuronoxylan and/or pectin biosynthesis based on concomitant reductions of both xylan and the pectin homogalacturonan (HG) in Arabidopsis irx8 mutants. Two GAUT12 homologs exist in Populus trichocarpa, PtGAUT12.1 and PtGAUT12.2. Knockdown expression of both genes simultaneously has been shown to reduce xylan content in Populus wood. We tested the proposition that RNA interference (RNAi) downregulation of GAUT12.1 alone would lead to increased sugar release in Populus wood, that is, reduced recalcitrance, based on the hypothesis that GAUT12 synthesizes a wall structure required for deposition of xylan and that cell walls with less xylan and/or modified cell wall architecture would have reduced recalcitrance. Using an RNAi approach, we generated 11 Populus deltoides transgenic lines with 50 to 67% reduced PdGAUT12.1 transcript expression compared to wild type (WT) and vector controls. Ten of the eleven RNAi lines yielded 4 to 8% greater glucose release upon enzymatic saccharification than the controls. The PdGAUT12.1 knockdown (PdGAUT12.1-KD) lines also displayed 12 to 52% and 12 to 44% increased plant height and radial stem diameter, respectively, compared to the controls. Knockdown of PdGAUT12.1 resulted in a 25 to 47% reduction in galacturonic acid and 17 to 30% reduction in xylose without affecting total lignin content, revealing that in Populus wood as in Arabidopsis, GAUT12 affects both pectin and xylan formation. Analyses of the sugars present in sequential cell wall extracts revealed a reduction of glucuronoxylan and pectic HG and rhamnogalacturonan in extracts from PdGAUT12.1-KD lines. The results show that downregulation of GAUT12.1 leads to a reduction in a population of xylan and pectin during wood formation and to reduced recalcitrance, more easily extractable cell walls, and increased growth in Populus.Biotechnology for Biofuels 12/2015; 8(1). DOI:10.1186/s13068-015-0218-y · 6.22 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Compression wood in softwoods and tension wood in hardwoods have properties, which adversely affect its usefulness for wood products. This chapter shows that reaction wood can be associated with many unsuitable wood properties. The results vary due to the fact that definitions about occurrence and severity of reaction wood are scarcely documented. A few properties seem to be even benefitting from the presence of reaction wood: the higher smoothness of compression wood surfaces, better shear strength of compression wood, higher toughness and impact resistance when tension wood is present, lower water uptake and swelling in fibreboards containing compression wood, and higher durability against fungi of compression wood. However, these are outweighed by disadvantages, which is the reason why reaction wood has a bad reputation in industry. The problem with reaction wood is that it is in most cases mixed with normal wood, which leads to non-uniform and more variable properties. This may lead to non-uniform swelling and shrinking, causing distortions, with additional problems of reduced strength and unfavourable surface properties. Wood-based materials such as particle boards or fibreboards are generally less prone to problems associated with reaction wood than solid wood products. With knowledge-based production methods the utilization of different wood types, including reaction wood, might be feasible.The Biology of Reaction Wood, Springer Series in Wood Science edited by Barry Gardiner, John Barnett, Pekka Saranpää, Joseph Gril, 01/2014: chapter 8: pages 225-248; Springer., ISBN: 978-3-642-10813-6
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ABSTRACT: Wood is one of the promising bioenergy feedstocks for lignocellulosic biofuel production. Understanding how wood components are synthesized will help us design strategies for better utilization of wood for biofuel production. One of the major wood components is xylan, in which about 10% of xylosyl residues are substituted with glucuronic acid (GlcA) side chains. All the GlcA side chains of xylan in wood of Populus trichocarpa are methylated, which is different from Arabidopsis xylan in which about 60% of GlcA side chains are methylated. Genes responsible for methylation of GlcA side chains in Populus xylan have not been identified. Here, we report genetic and biochemical analyses of four DUF579 domain-containing proteins, PtrGXM1, PtrGXM2, PtrGXM3 and PtrGXM4, from Populus trichocarpa and their roles in GlcA methylation in xylan. The PtrGXM genes were found to be highly expressed in wood-forming cells and their encoded proteins were shown to be localized in the Golgi. When overexpressed in the Arabidopsis gxm1/2/3 triple mutant, PtrGXMs were able to partially complement the mutant phenotypes including defects in glucuronoxylan methyltransferase activity and GlcA methylation in xylan, indicating that PtrGXMs most likely function as glucuronoxylan methyltransferases. Direct evidence was provided by enzymatic analysis of recombinant PtrGXM proteins showing that they possessed a methyltransferase activity capable of transferring the methyl group onto GlcA-substituted xylooligomers. Kinetic analysis showed that PtrGXMs exhibited differential affinities toward the GlcA-substituted xylooligomer acceptor with PtrGXM3 and PtrGXM4 having 10 times higher K m values than PtrGXM1 and PtrGXM2. Together, these findings indicate that PtrGXMs are methyltransferases mediating GlcA methylation in Populus xylan during wood formation.PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e87370. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0087370 · 3.53 Impact Factor