Transgenic Ferritin Overproduction Enhances Thermochemical Pretreatments in Arabidopsis

Hui Wei, Haibing Yang, Peter N. Ciesielski, Bryon S. Donohoe, Maureen C. McCann, Angus S. Murphy, Wendy A. Peer, Shi You Ding, Michael E. Himmel, Melvin P. Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus Citations


Reducing the severity of thermochemical pretreatment by incorporating iron ions as co-catalysts has been shown to enhance the sugar yield from dilute acid pretreatments and enzymatic saccharification. However, current approach of soaking iron containing acid solutions onto milled biomass prior to pretreatment is time-consuming and subject to diffusion limitations. Here, we overexpressed soybean ferritin protein intracellularly in Arabidopsis plants (referred to as FerIN) under the control of the 35S promoter for the purpose of accumulating iron ions in Arabidopsis plants. The transgenic Arabidopsis plants accumulated iron during growth under both normal and iron-augmented watering conditions. Prussian blue staining showed punctuate staining of iron predominantly on the interior surfaces of cell lumen in FerIN plants. The harvested transgenic biomass showed enhanced pretreatability, in that it released 13-19% more glucose and xylose than empty vector control plants. The data indicated a positive correlation between iron concentration and sugar release during pretreatment of transgenic biomass.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)55-64
Number of pages10
JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2700-62654


  • Biomass saccharification
  • Dilute acid pretreatment
  • Ferritin
  • Iron accumulation
  • Prussian blue staining
  • Transgenic Arabidopsis


Dive into the research topics of 'Transgenic Ferritin Overproduction Enhances Thermochemical Pretreatments in Arabidopsis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this