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- 2017 Regulation of secondary cell wall biosynthesis by a NAC transcription factor from_Miscanthus_ Plant Direct 1 5 e00024 doi: 10.1002/pld3.24 [Link]
- 2016 Lignin from Miscanthus, the Undemanding Giant 24thEUBCE2016 1DV.1.15 316-324 doi: 10.5071/24thEUBCE2016-1DV.1.15
Regulation of lignin biosynthesis in Miscanthus genotypes: Key factor for lignocellulose-based value added chains
Lignocellulosic biomass derived from fast growing energy crops is regarded as the renewable resource for production of bio-based products and liquid energy. One major challenge is to guaranty the production of sufficient biomass on limited area. Other challenges are the extraction of lignin of high quality for chemical conversion and processing of the recalcitrant cell wall into fermentable sugars. In recent years scientist around world strengthened their efforts to understand underlying mechanism of plant cell wall formation with the aim to breed/engineer optimised plants for improved biomass utilisation.
The fast growing C4 grass Miscanthus is one of the most promising biomass crops in Europe. Miscanthus species are essentially undomesticated and research is still in an early stage. This project aims to generate new insight into the regulation of cell wall formation, in particular lignin and cellulose biosynthesis, in different Miscanthus genotypes. Bioinformatic tools will be harnessed to identify transcription factor network regulating cell wall formation (figure 1). Subsequently, the dynamic regulation of transcription factor expression profiles in dependence on environmental cues, developmental cues and genotype will be explored and correlate with lignin content and composition.
Experimental data about key players regulating cell wall formation will provide a solid knowledge base for future investigations in different Miscanthus genotypes and other dedicated biomass crops. Moreover, knowledge of important transcription factors and promoter sequences can be used to develop molecular markers to direct and facilitate breeding of Miscanthus. Together with the close collaboration of agricultural science, cultivation measures can be optimised to produce biomass suitable for its purpose.
Figure 1: Model of the hierarchical transcription factor (TF) network of secondary cell wall biosynthesis in Arabidopsis. The third level of TFs, so called ’Master switches’ affects the entire secondary cell wall biosynthesis. Downstream TFs (level 1) act specifically on lignin biosynthesis genes which contain an AC element in the promoter region.
Graduate Program BBW ForWerts