In planta Expression of A. cellulolyticus Cel5A Endocellulase Reduces Cell Wall Recalcitrance in Tobacco and Maize

Roman Brunecky, Michael J. Selig, Todd B. Vinzant, Michael E. Himmel, David Lee, Michael J. Blaylock, Stephen R. Decker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus Citations

Abstract

The glycoside hydrolase family 5 endocellulase, E1 (Cel5A), from Acidothermus cellulolyticus was transformed into both Nicotiana tabacum and Zea mays with expression targeted to the cell wall under a constitutive promoter. Here we explore the possibility that in planta expression of endocellulases will allow these enzymes to access their substrates during cell wall construction, rendering cellulose more amenable to pretreatment and enzyme digestion. Tobacco and maize plants were healthy and developed normally compared with the wild type (WT). After thermochemical pretreatment and enzyme digestion, transformed plants were clearly more digestible than WT, requiring lower pretreatment severity to achieve comparable conversion levels. Furthermore, the decreased recalcitrance was not due to post-pretreatment residual E1 activity and could not be reproduced by the addition of exogenous E1 to the biomass prior to pretreatment, indicating that the expression of E1 during cell wall construction altered the inherent recalcitrance of the cell wall.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1
Number of pages10
JournalBiotechnology for Biofuels
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2700-49372

Keywords

  • biomass
  • glycoside hydrolase
  • maize
  • tobacco

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