Browsing by Subject "xylan"

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  • Wang, Zhao; Pawar, Prashant Mohan-Anupama; Derba-Maceluch, Marta; Hedenström, Mattias; Chong, Sun-Li; Tenkanen, Maija; Jönsson, Leif J.; Mellerowicz, Ewa (2020)
    Fast-growing broad-leaf tree species can serve as feedstocks for production of bio-based chemicals and fuels through biochemical conversion of wood to monosaccharides. This conversion is hampered by the xylan acetylation pattern. To reduce xylan acetylation in the wood, the Hypocrea jecorina acetyl xylan esterase (HjAXE) from carbohydrate esterase (CE) family 5 was expressed in hybrid aspen under the control of the wood-specific PtGT43B promoter and targeted to the secretory pathway. The enzyme was predicted to deacetylate polymeric xylan in the vicinity of cellulose due to the presence of a cellulose-binding module. Cell-wall-bound protein fractions from developing wood of transgenic plants were capable of releasing acetyl from finely ground wood powder, indicative of active AXE present in cell walls of these plants, whereas no such activity was detected in wild-type plants. The transgenic lines grew in height and diameter as well as wild-type trees, whereas their internodes were slightly shorter, indicating higher leaf production. The average acetyl content in the wood of these lines was reduced by 13%, mainly due to reductions in di-acetylated xylose units, and in C-2 and C-3 mono-acetylated xylose units. Analysis of soluble cell wall polysaccharides revealed a 4% reduction in the fraction of xylose units and an 18% increase in the fraction of glucose units, whereas the contents of cellulose and lignin were not affected. Enzymatic saccharification of wood from transgenic plants resulted in 27% higher glucose yield than for wild-type plants. Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) analysis and Simons' staining pointed toward larger surface area and improved cellulose accessibility for wood from transgenic plants compared to wood from wild-type plants, which could be achieved by HjAXE deacetylating xylan bound to cellulose. The results show that CE5 family can serve as a source of enzymes for in planta reduction of recalcitrance to saccharification.
  • Lyczakowski, Jan J.; Bourdon, Matthieu; Terrett, Oliver M.; Helariutta, Ykä; Wightman, Raymond; Dupree, Paul (2019)
    The woody secondary cell walls of plants are the largest repository of renewable carbon biopolymers on the planet. These walls are made principally from cellulose and hemicelluloses and are impregnated with lignin. Despite their importance as the main load bearing structure for plant growth, as well as their industrial importance as both a material and energy source, the precise arrangement of these constituents within the cell wall is not yet fully understood. We have adapted low temperature scanning electron microscopy (cryo-SEM) for imaging the nanoscale architecture of angiosperm and gymnosperm cell walls in their native hydrated state. Our work confirms that cell wall macrofibrils, cylindrical structures with a diameter exceeding 10 nm, are a common feature of the native hardwood and softwood samples. We have observed these same structures in Arabidopsis thaliana secondary cell walls, enabling macrofibrils to be compared between mutant lines that are perturbed in cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin formation. Our analysis indicates that the macrofibrils in Arabidopsis cell walls are dependent upon the proper biosynthesis, or composed, of cellulose, xylan, and lignin. This study establishes that cryo-SEM is a useful additional approach for investigating the native nanoscale architecture and composition of hardwood and softwood secondary cell walls and demonstrates the applicability of Arabidopsis genetic resources to relate fibril structure with wall composition and biosynthesis.