Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date

8-1999

Journal or Book Title

Nature Biotechnology

Volume

17

Issue

8

First Page

808

Last Page

812

DOI

10.1038/11758

Abstract

Because lignin limits the use of wood for fiber, chemical, and energy production, strategies for its downregulation are of considerable interest. We have produced transgenic aspen (Populus tremuloidesMichx.) trees in which expression of a lignin biosynthetic pathway genePt4CL1 encoding 4-coumarate:coenzyme A ligase (4CL) has been downregulated by antisense inhibition. Trees with suppressed Pt4CL1expression exhibited up to a 45% reduction of lignin, but this was compensated for by a 15% increase in cellulose. As a result, the total lignin–cellulose mass remained essentially unchanged. Leaf, root, and stem growth were substantially enhanced, and structural integrity was maintained both at the cellular and whole-plant levels in the transgenic lines. Our results indicate that lignin and cellulose deposition could be regulated in a compensatory fashion, which may contribute to metabolic flexibility and a growth advantage to sustain the long-term structural integrity of woody perennials.

Comments

This article is from Nature Biotechnology 17 (1999): 808, doi:10.1038/11758.

Rights

Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

Share

COinS