U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

DOE Bioenergy Center Characterizes Cell Wall Proteins in Poplar Tree
Published: November 09, 2009
Posted: November 11, 2009

Developing improved plant feedstocks for bioenergy requires an understanding of plant growth and adaptation and knowledge of the underlying molecular pathways of plant cell wall biosynthesis. Scientists at the DOE Bioenergy Science Center (BESC) report the most comprehensive characterization to date of the proteome, or protein complement, of xylem tissues from poplar, a tree commonly cited as a promising feedstock for bioenergy. The study, featured on the cover of the journal Proteomics, used mass spectrometry-based proteomics as a tool to study wood and secondary cell wall formation. Approximately 6,000 proteins from developing poplar xylem tissue were isolated and identified. They included several newly identified proteins thought to regulate cell wall formation in woody tissues of poplar and many proteins of unknown function. Measuring differences in whole proteomes between different poplar variations will increase our understanding of the fundamental properties that underlie the recalcitrance of woody biomass to degradation. This technology will provide new pathways for the potential improvement of poplar as a bioenergy feedstock.

Reference: Kalluri UC, Hurst GB, Lankford PK, Ranjan P, Pelletier DA. 2009. "Shotgun proteome profile of Populus developing xylem," Proteomics 9 (21):4871-80.

Contact: Cathy Ronning, SC-23.2, (301) 903-9549
Topic Areas:

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

Division: SC-23.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER


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