Modified expression of ZmMYB167 in Brachypodium distachyon and Zea mays leads to increased cell wall lignin and phenolic content

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Bhatia, R., Dalton, S., Roberts, L. A., Moron-Garcia, O. M., Iancono, R., Kosik, O., Gallagher, J. A. and Bosch, M. 2019. Modified expression of ZmMYB167 in Brachypodium distachyon and Zea mays leads to increased cell wall lignin and phenolic content. Scientific Reports. 9 (8800), p. 12pp.

AuthorsBhatia, R., Dalton, S., Roberts, L. A., Moron-Garcia, O. M., Iancono, R., Kosik, O., Gallagher, J. A. and Bosch, M.
Abstract

One of the challenges to enable targeted modification of lignocellulosic biomass from grasses for improved biofuel and biochemical production lies within our limited understanding of the transcriptional control of secondary cell wall biosynthesis. Here, we investigated the role of the maize MYB transcription factor ZmMYB167 in secondary cell wall biosynthesis and how modified ZmMYB167 expression in two distinct grass model species affects plant biomass and growth phenotypes. Heterologous expression of ZmMYB167 in the C3 model system Brachypodium led to mild dwarf phenotypes, increased lignin (~7% to 13%) and S-lignin monomer (~11% to 16%) content, elevated concentrations of cell wall-bound p-coumaric acid (~15% to 24%) and reduced biomass sugar release (~20%) compared to controls. Overexpression of ZmMYB167 in the C4 model system Zea mays increased lignin (~4% to 13%), p-coumaric acid (~8% to 52%) and ferulic acid (~13% to 38%) content but did not affect plant growth and development nor biomass recalcitrance. Taken together, modifying ZmMYB167 expression represents a target to alter lignin and phenolic content in grasses. The ZmMYB167 expression-induced discrepancies in plant phenotypic and biomass properties between the two grass model systems highlight the challenges and opportunities for MYB transcription factor-based genetic engineering approaches of grass biomass.

Year of Publication2019
JournalScientific Reports
Journal citation9 (8800), p. 12pp
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1038/s41598-019-45225-9
Open accessPublished as green open access
Funder project or codeDevelopment of a process scheme for the production of high value functional products from DDGS
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Publisher's versionBhatia et al 2019 Sci Rep.pdf
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online19 Jun 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted31 May 2019
PublisherNature Publishing Group
ISSN2045-2322

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