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Brassinosteroid overproduction improves lignocellulose quantity and quality to maximize bioethanol yield under green-like biomass process in transgenic poplar.

ABSTRACT: Background:As a leading biomass feedstock, poplar plants provide enormous lignocellulose resource convertible for biofuels and bio-chemicals. However, lignocellulose recalcitrance particularly in wood plants, basically causes a costly bioethanol production unacceptable for commercial marketing with potential secondary pollution to the environment. Therefore, it becomes important to reduce lignocellulose recalcitrance by genetic modification of plant cell walls, and meanwhile to establish advanced biomass process technology in woody plants. Brassinosteroids, plant-specific steroid hormones, are considered to participate in plant growth and development for biomass production, but little has been reported about brassinosteroids roles in plant cell wall assembly and modification. In this study, we generated transgenic poplar plant that overexpressed DEETIOLATED2 gene for brassinosteroids overproduction. We then detected cell wall feature alteration and examined biomass enzymatic saccharification for bioethanol production under various chemical pretreatments. Results:Compared with wild type, the PtoDET2 overexpressed transgenic plants contained much higher brassinosteroids levels. The transgenic poplar also exhibited significantly enhanced plant growth rate and biomass yield by increasing xylem development and cell wall polymer deposition. Meanwhile, the transgenic plants showed significantly improved lignocellulose features such as reduced cellulose crystalline index and degree of polymerization values and decreased hemicellulose xylose/arabinose ratio for raised biomass porosity and accessibility, which led to integrated enhancement on biomass enzymatic saccharification and bioethanol yield under various chemical pretreatments. In contrast, the CRISPR/Cas9-generated mutation of PtoDET2 showed significantly lower brassinosteroids level for reduced biomass saccharification and bioethanol yield, compared to the wild type. Notably, the optimal green-like pretreatment could even achieve the highest bioethanol yield by effective lignin extraction in the transgenic plant. Hence, this study proposed a mechanistic model elucidating how brassinosteroid regulates cell wall modification for reduced lignocellulose recalcitrance and increased biomass porosity and accessibility for high bioethanol production. Conclusions:This study has demonstrated a powerful strategy to enhance cellulosic bioethanol production by regulating brassinosteroid biosynthesis for reducing lignocellulose recalcitrance in the transgenic poplar plants. It has also provided a green-like process for biomass pretreatment and enzymatic saccharification in poplar and beyond.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6969456 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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