Planta

, Volume 229, Issue 6, pp 1253–1267

Grass lignin acylation: p-coumaroyl transferase activity and cell wall characteristics of C3 and C4 grasses

  • Ronald D. Hatfield
  • Jane M. Marita
  • Kenneth Frost
  • John Grabber
  • John Ralph
  • Fachuang Lu
  • Hoon Kim
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00425-009-0900-z

Cite this article as:
Hatfield, R.D., Marita, J.M., Frost, K. et al. Planta (2009) 229: 1253. doi:10.1007/s00425-009-0900-z
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Abstract

Grasses are a predominant source of nutritional energy for livestock systems around the world. Grasses with high lignin content have lower energy conversion efficiencies for production of bioenergy either in the form of ethanol or to milk and meat through ruminants. Grass lignins are uniquely acylated with p-coumarates (pCA), resulting from the incorporation of monolignol p-coumarate conjugates into the growing lignin polymer within the cell wall matrix. The required acyl-transferase is a soluble enzyme (p-coumaroyl transferase, pCAT) that utilizes p-coumaroyl-CoenzymeA (pCA-CoA) as the activated donor molecule and sinapyl alcohol as the preferred acceptor molecule. Grasses (C3and C4) were evaluated for cell wall characteristics; pCA, lignin, pCAT activity, and neutral sugar composition. All C3 and C4 grasses had measurable pCAT activity, however the pCAT activities did not follow the same pattern as the pCA incorporation into lignin as expected.

Keywords

Lignin Acylation p-Coumarates p-Coumaroyl transferase Cell wall carbohydrates 

Abbreviations

CW

Cell wall

pCA

p-Coumarates

FA

Ferulates

S

Syringyl

G

Guaiacyl

CA-pCA

Coniferyl p-coumarate

SA-pCA

Sinapyl p-coumarate

pCAT

p-Coumaroyl transferase

dHSA

Dihydrosinapyl alcohol

dHCA

Dihydroconiferyl alcohol

EtOH

Ethanol

MeOH

Methanol

TFA

Trifluoroacetic acid

Tris

2-Amino-2-(hydroxymethyl)-1,3-propanediol

MOPS

4-Morpholinepropanesulfonicacid

GLC–FID

Gas liquid chromatography–flame ionization detection

Glc

Glucose

Xyl

Xylose

Ara

Arabinose

GAX

Glucuronoarabinoxylans

Copyright information

© US Government 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald D. Hatfield
    • 1
  • Jane M. Marita
    • 1
  • Kenneth Frost
    • 1
  • John Grabber
    • 1
    • 2
  • John Ralph
    • 1
    • 3
  • Fachuang Lu
    • 3
  • Hoon Kim
    • 3
  1. 1.U.S. Dairy Forage Research CenterUSDA-Agricultural Research ServiceMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Department of AgronomyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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