Silencing of a BAHD acyltransferase in sugarcane increases biomass digestibility

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

De-Souza, W. R., Pacheco, T. F., Molinari, P. A. O., Duarte, K. E., Sampaio, B. L., Martins, P. K., Santiago, T. R., Formighieri, E. F., Vinecky, F., Ribeiro, A. P., Da Cunha, B. A. D. B., Kobayashi, A. K., Mitchell, R. A. C., Gambetta, D. S. R. and Molinari, H. B. C. 2019. Silencing of a BAHD acyltransferase in sugarcane increases biomass digestibility. Biotechnology for Biofuels. 12, p. 111.

AuthorsDe-Souza, W. R., Pacheco, T. F., Molinari, P. A. O., Duarte, K. E., Sampaio, B. L., Martins, P. K., Santiago, T. R., Formighieri, E. F., Vinecky, F., Ribeiro, A. P., Da Cunha, B. A. D. B., Kobayashi, A. K., Mitchell, R. A. C., Gambetta, D. S. R. and Molinari, H. B. C.
Abstract

Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) covers vast areas of land (around 25 million ha worldwide), and its processing is already linked into infrastructure for producing bioethanol in many countries. This makes it an ideal candidate for improving composition of its residues (mostly cell walls), making them more suitable for cellulosic ethanol production. In this paper, we report an approach to improving saccharification of sugarcane straw by RNAi silencing of the recently discovered BAHD01 gene responsible for feruloylation of grass cell walls.

Results
We identified six BAHD genes in the sugarcane genome (SacBAHDs) and generated five lines with substantially decreased SacBAHD01 expression. To find optimal conditions for determining saccharification of sugarcane straw, we tried multiple combinations of solvent and temperature pretreatment conditions, devising a predictive model for finding their effects on glucose release. Under optimal conditions, demonstrated by Organosolv pretreatment using 30% ethanol for 240 min, transgenic lines showed increases in saccharification efficiency of up to 24%. The three lines with improved saccharification efficiency had lower cell-wall ferulate content but unchanged monosaccharide and lignin compositions.

Conclusions
The silencing of SacBAHD01 gene and subsequent decrease of cell-wall ferulate contents indicate a promising novel biotechnological approach for improving the suitability of sugarcane residues for cellulosic ethanol production. In addition, the Organosolv pretreatment of the genetically modified biomass and the optimal conditions for the enzymatic hydrolysis presented here might be incorporated in the sugarcane industry for bioethanol production.

Year of Publication2019
JournalBiotechnology for Biofuels
Journal citation12, p. 111
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1186/s13068-019-1450-7
Open accessPublished as green open access
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print06 May 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted25 Apr 2019
PublisherBiomed Central Ltd
ISSN1754-6834

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