The in vivo impact of MsLAC1, a Miscanthus laccase isoform, on lignification and lignin composition contrasts with its in vitro substrate preference.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Understanding lignin biosynthesis and composition is of central importance for sustainable bioenergy and biomaterials production. Species of the genus Miscanthus have emerged as promising bioenergy crop due to their rapid growth and modest nutrient requirements. However, lignin polymerization in Miscanthus is poorly understood. It was previously shown that plant laccases are phenol oxidases that have multiple functions in plant, one of which is the polymerization of monolignols. Herein, we link a newly discovered Miscanthus laccase, MsLAC1, to cell wall lignification. Characterization of recombinant MsLAC1 and Arabidopsis transgenic plants expressing MsLAC1 were carried out to understand the function of MsLAC1 both in vitro and in vivo. RESULTS:Using a comprehensive suite of molecular, biochemical and histochemical analyses, we show that MsLAC1 localizes to cell walls and identify Miscanthus transcription factors capable of regulating MsLAC1 expression. In addition, MsLAC1 complements the Arabidopsis lac4-2 lac17 mutant and recombinant MsLAC1 is able to oxidize monolignol in vitro. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants over-expressing MsLAC1 show higher G-lignin content, although recombinant MsLAC1 seemed to prefer sinapyl alcohol as substrate. CONCLUSIONS:In summary, our results suggest that MsLAC1 is regulated by secondary cell wall MYB transcription factors and is involved in lignification of xylem fibers. This report identifies MsLAC1 as a promising breeding target in Miscanthus for biofuel and biomaterial applications.
Project description:Lignins are aromatic heteropolymers that arise from oxidative coupling of lignin precursors, including lignin monomers (p-coumaryl, coniferyl, and sinapyl alcohols), oligomers, and polymers. Whereas plant peroxidases have been shown to catalyze oxidative coupling of monolignols, the oxidation activity of well-studied plant peroxidases, such as horseradish peroxidase C (HRP-C) and AtPrx53, are quite low for sinapyl alcohol. This characteristic difference has led to controversy regarding the oxidation mechanism of sinapyl alcohol and lignin oligomers and polymers by plant peroxidases. The present study explored the oxidation activities of three plant peroxidases, AtPrx2, AtPrx25, and AtPrx71, which have been already shown to be involved in lignification in the Arabidopsis stem. Recombinant proteins of these peroxidases (rAtPrxs) were produced in Escherichia coli as inclusion bodies and successfully refolded to yield their active forms. rAtPrx2, rAtPrx25, and rAtPrx71 were found to oxidize two syringyl compounds (2,6-dimethoxyphenol and syringaldazine), which were employed here as model monolignol compounds, with higher specific activities than HRP-C and rAtPrx53. Interestingly, rAtPrx2 and rAtPrx71 oxidized syringyl compounds more efficiently than guaiacol. Moreover, assays with ferrocytochrome c as a substrate showed that AtPrx2, AtPrx25, and AtPrx71 possessed the ability to oxidize large molecules. This characteristic may originate in a protein radical. These results suggest that the plant peroxidases responsible for lignin polymerization are able to directly oxidize all lignin precursors.
Project description:Lignin is an abundant phenylpropanoid polymer produced by the oxidative polymerization of p-hydroxycinnamyl alcohols (monolignols). Lignification, i.e., deposition of lignin, is a defining feature of secondary cell wall formation in vascular plants, and provides an important mechanism for their disease resistance; however, many aspects of the cell wall lignification process remain unclear partly because of a lack of suitable imaging methods to monitor the process in vivo. In this study, a set of monolignol analogs ?-linked to fluorogenic aminocoumarin and nitrobenzofuran dyes were synthesized and tested as imaging probes to visualize the cell wall lignification process in Arabidopsis thaliana and Pinus radiata under various feeding regimens. In particular, we demonstrate that the fluorescence-tagged monolignol analogs can penetrate into live plant tissues and cells, and appear to be metabolically incorporated into lignifying cell walls in a highly specific manner. The localization of the fluorogenic lignins synthesized during the feeding period can be readily visualized by fluorescence microscopy and is distinguishable from the other wall components such as polysaccharides as well as the pre-existing lignin that was deposited earlier in development.
Project description:Lignin is present in plant secondary cell walls and is among the most abundant biological polymers on Earth. In this work we investigated the potential role of the UGT72E gene family in regulating lignification in Arabidopsis. Chemical determination of floral stem lignin contents in ugt72e1, ugt72e2, and ugt72e3 mutants revealed no significant differences compared to WT plants. In contrast, the use of a novel safranin O ratiometric imaging technique indicated a significant increase in the cell wall lignin content of both interfascicular fibers and xylem from young regions of ugt72e3 mutant floral stems. These results were globally confirmed in interfascicular fibers by Raman microspectroscopy. Subsequent investigation using a bioorthogonal triple labelling strategy suggested that the augmentation in lignification was associated with an increased capacity of mutant cell walls to incorporate H-, G-, and S-monolignol reporters. Expression analysis showed that this increase was associated with an up-regulation of LAC17 and PRX71, which play a key role in lignin polymerization. Altogether, these results suggest that UGT72E3 can influence the kinetics of lignin deposition by regulating monolignol flow to the cell wall as well as the potential of this compartment to incorporate monomers into the growing lignin polymer.
Project description:Lignin is a complex phenolic biopolymer found mainly in the secondary cell walls of vascular plants, where it contributes to mechanical strength, water conduction, and plant defence. We studied the lignin of eastern leatherwood (Dirca palustris) because this slow-growing woody shrub is known for its flexible stems. Various analytical techniques and microscopy methods were employed to examine the composition and distribution of lignin and structural polysaccharides in leatherwood xylem in comparison with trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) and white spruce (Picea glauca). We found that leatherwood has low overall levels of lignin, a high syringyl lignin content, and a unique distribution of lignin. Most remarkably, the cell corners and middle lamellae remain unlignified in mature xylem. These findings help explain the flexibility of leatherwood and also call into question the classical model of lignification, which purports that lignin polymerization begins in the cell corners and middle lamellae. This atypical lignification regime vividly illustrates the diversity in plant secondary cell wall formation that abounds in nature and casts leatherwood as a new model for the study of lignin biogenesis.
Project description:Lignin is an important phenolic biopolymer that provides strength and rigidity to the secondary cell walls of tracheary elements, sclereids, and fibers in vascular plants. Lignin precursors, called monolignols, are synthesized in the cell and exported to the cell wall where they are polymerized into lignin by oxidative enzymes such as laccases and peroxidases. In Arabidopsis thaliana, a peroxidase (PRX64) and laccase (LAC4) are shown to localize differently within cell wall domains in interfascicular fibers: PRX64 localizes to the middle lamella whereas LAC4 localizes throughout the secondary cell wall layers. Similarly, laccases localized to, and are responsible for, the helical depositions of lignin in protoxylem tracheary elements. In addition, we tested the mobility of laccases in the cell wall using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching. mCHERRY-tagged LAC4 was immobile in secondary cell wall domains, but mobile in the primary cell wall when ectopically expressed. A small secreted red fluorescent protein (sec-mCHERRY) was engineered as a control and was found to be mobile in both the primary and secondary cell walls. Unlike sec-mCHERRY, the tight anchoring of LAC4 to secondary cell wall domains indicated that it cannot be remobilized once secreted, and this anchoring underlies the spatial control of lignification.
Project description:Lignin is a key structural component of plant cell walls that provides rigidity, strength, and resistance against microbial attacks. This hydrophobic polymer also serves a crucial role in water transport. Despite its abundance and essential functions, several aspects of lignin biosynthesis and deposition remain cryptic. Lignin precursors are known to be synthesized in the cytoplasm by complex biosynthetic pathways, after which they are transported to the apoplastic space, where they are polymerized via free radical coupling reactions into polymeric lignin. However, the lignin deposition process and the factors controlling it are unclear. In this study, the biochemical and developmental dependencies of lignification were investigated using a click-compatible monolignol analog, 3-O-propargylcaffeyl alcohol (3-OPC), which can incorporate into both in vitro polymerized lignin and Arabidopsis thaliana tissues. Fluorescence labeling of 3-OPC using click chemistry followed by confocal fluorescence microscopy enabled the detection and imaging of 3-OPC incorporation patterns. These patterns were consistent with endogenous lignification observed in different developmental stages of Arabidopsis stems. However, the concentration of supplied monolignols influenced where lignification occurred at the subcellular level, with low concentrations being deposited in cell corners and middle lamellae and high concentrations also being deposited in secondary walls. Experimental inhibition of multiple lignification factors confirmed that 3-OPC incorporation proceeds via a free radical coupling mechanism involving peroxidases/laccases and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Finally, the presence of peroxide-producing enzymes determined which cell walls lignified: adding exogenous peroxide and peroxidase caused cells that do not naturally lignify in Arabidopsis stems to lignify. In summary, 3-OPC accurately mimics natural lignification patterns in different developmental stages of Arabidopsis stems and allows for the dissection of key biochemical and enzymatic factors controlling lignification.
Project description:Lignin is a complex polyphenolic heteropolymer that is abundant in the secondary cell walls of plants and functions in growth and defence. It is also a major barrier to the deconstruction of plant biomass for bioenergy production, but the spatiotemporal details of how lignin is deposited in actively lignifying tissues and the precise relationships between wall lignification in different cell types and developmental events, such as flowering, are incompletely understood. Here, the lignin-detecting fluorogenic dye, Basic Fuchsin, was adapted to enable comparative fluorescence-based imaging of lignin in the basal internodes of three Brachypodium distachyon ecotypes that display divergent flowering times. It was found that the extent and intensity of Basic Fuchsin fluorescence increase over time in the Bd21-3 ecotype, that Basic Fuchsin staining is more widespread and intense in 4-week-old Bd21-3 and Adi-10 basal internodes than in Bd1-1 internodes, and that Basic Fuchsin staining reveals subcellular patterns of lignin in vascular and interfascicular fibre cell walls. Basic Fuchsin fluorescence did not correlate with lignin quantification by acetyl bromide analysis, indicating that whole-plant and subcellular lignin analyses provide distinct information about the extent and patterns of lignification in B. distachyon. Finally, it was found that flowering time correlated with a transient increase in total lignin, but did not correlate strongly with the patterning of stem lignification, suggesting that additional developmental pathways might regulate secondary wall formation in grasses. This study provides a new comparative tool for imaging lignin in plants and helps inform our views of how lignification proceeds in grasses.
Project description:Lipid acyl hydrolase are a diverse group of enzymes that hydrolyze the ester or amide bonds of fatty acid in plant lipids. Patatin-related phospholipase AIIIs (pPLAIIIs) are one of major lipid acyl hydrolases that are less closely related to potato tuber patatins and are plant-specific. Recently, overexpression of ginseng-derived PgpPLAIII? was reported to be involved in the reduced level of lignin content in Arabidopsis and the mature xylem layer of poplar. The presence of lignin-polysaccharides renders cell walls recalcitrant for pulping and biofuel production. The tissue-specific regulation of lignin biosynthesis, without altering all xylem in plants, can be utilized usefully by keeping mechanical strength and resistance to various environmental stimuli. To identify another pPLAIII homolog from Arabidopsis, constitutively overexpressed AtpPLAIII? was characterized for xylem lignification in two well-studied model plants, Arabidopsis and poplar. The characterization of gene function in annual and perennial plants with respect to lignin biosynthesis revealed the functional redundancy of less lignification via downregulation of lignin biosynthesis-related genes.
Project description:Varieties of Citrus are commercially important fruits that are cultivated worldwide and are valued for being highly nutritious and having an appealing flavor. Lignification of citrus fruit juice sacs is a serious physiological disorder that occurs during postharvest storage, for which the underlying transcriptional regulatory mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, we identified and isolated a candidate MYB transcription factor, CsMYB85, that is involved in the regulation of lignin biosynthesis in Citrus sinensis, which has homologs in Arabidopsis and other plants. We found that during juice sac lignification, CsMYB85 expression levels increase significantly, and therefore, suspected that this gene may control lignin biosynthesis during the lignification process. Our results indicated that CsMYB85 binds the CsMYB330 promoter, regulates its expression, and interacts with CsMYB308 in transgenic yeast and tobacco. A transient expression assay indicated that Cs4CL1 expression levels and lignin content significantly increased in fruit juice sacs overexpressing CsMYB85. At4CL1 expression levels and lignin content were also significantly increased in Arabidopsis overexpressing CsMYB85. We accordingly present convincing evidence for the participation of the CsMYB85 transcription factor in fruit juice sac lignification, and thereby provide new insights into the transcriptional regulation of this process in citrus fruits.
Project description:Gibberellin 2-oxidase (GA 2-oxidase) plays very important roles in plant growth and development. In this study, the AtGA2ox8 gene, derived from Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), was transformed and over-expressed in rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) to assess the role of AtGA2ox8 in biomass accumulation and lignification in plants. The transgenic plants, identified by resistant selection, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and reverse-transcription PCR (RT-PCR) analyses, and green fluorescence examination, showed growth retardation, flowering delay, and dwarf stature. The fresh weight and dry weight in transgenic lines were about 21% and 29% lower than those in wild type (WT), respectively, and the fresh to dry weight ratios were higher than that of WT. Quantitative measurements demonstrated that the lignin content in transgenic lines decreased by 10%-20%, and histochemical staining results also showed reduced lignification in transgenic lines. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis indicated that the transcript levels of lignin biosynthetic genes in transgenic lines were markedly decreased and were consistent with the reduced lignification. These results suggest that the reduced biomass accumulation and lignification in the AtGA2ox8 over-expression rapeseed might be due to altered lignin biosynthetic gene expression.