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Knock-Down of Galacturonosyltransferase-4 Gene Leads to Reduction in Lignin-Carbohydrate Crosslinking in Switchgrass
Published: January 17, 2019
Posted: August 02, 2021


Investigate downregulation of a pectin biosynthetic gene, GAUT4, on the structures of lignin and their importance to the recalcitrance of switchgrass.


Chromatographic and NMR analyses of the molecular structure of lignin and hemicellulose as well as the level of lignin-carbohydrate crosslinking in GAUT4-downregulated switchgrass.


  • GAUT4-KD lines have a lower abundance of ferulate and lignin-carbohydrate complex cross-linkages, reduced hemicellulose molecular weights, and reduced amounts of residual arabinan and xylan in lignin-enriched fractions, in comparison to the wildtype (WT).
  • These structural changes in lignin and hemicellulose lead to a greater coalescence and migration of lignin after hydrothermal pretreatment. The results reveal the roles of both decreased lignin-polymer and pectin cross-links in the reduction of recalcitrance in GAUT4-KD switchgrass.

Li, M. et al. “Downregulation of pectin biosynthesis gene GAUT4 leads to reduced ferulate and lignin-carbohydrate cross-linking in switchgrass.” Communications Biology 2, 22 (2019). [DOI:10.1038/s42003-018-0265-6]

Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Genomic Analysis and Systems Biology
  • Research Area: Plant Systems and Feedstocks, Plant-Microbe Interactions
  • Research Area: Sustainable Biofuels and Bioproducts
  • Research Area: DOE Bioenergy Research Centers (BRC)

Division: SC-33.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER


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