Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 61–71

Modification of lignin biosynthesis in transgenic Nicotiana through expression of an antisense O-methyltransferase gene from Populus

  • Upendra N. Dwivedi
  • Wilbur H. Campbell
  • Jun Yu
  • Raju S. S. Datla
  • Robert C. Bugos
  • Vincent L. Chiang
  • Gopi K. Podila
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DOI: 10.1007/BF00039520

Cite this article as:
Dwivedi, U.N., Campbell, W.H., Yu, J. et al. Plant Mol Biol (1994) 26: 61. doi:10.1007/BF00039520

Abstract

An aspen lignin-specific O-methyltransferase (bi-OMT; S-adenosyl-l-methionine: caffeic acid/5-hydroxyferulic acid 3/5-O-methyltransferase, EC 2.1.1.68) antisense sequence in the form of a synthetic gene containing the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S gene sequences for enhancer elements, promoter and terminator was stably integrated into the tobacco genome and inherited in transgenic plants with a normal phenotype. Leaves and stems of the transgenes expressed the antisense RNA and the endogenous tobacco bi-OMT mRNA was suppressed in the stems. Bi-OMT activity of stems was decreased by an average of 29% in the four transgenic plants analyzed. Chemical analysis of woody tissue of stems for lignin building units indicated a reduced content of syringyl units in most of the transgenic plants, which corresponds well with the reduced activity of bi-OMT. Transgenic plants with a suppressed level of syringyl units and a level of guaiacyl units similar to control plants were presumed to have lignins of distinctly different structure than control plants. We concluded that regulation of the level of bi-OMT expression by an antisense mechanism could be a useful tool for genetically engineering plants with modified lignin without altering normal growth and development.

Key words

antisense inhibition aspen O-methyltransferase lignin biosynthesis transgenic tobacco 

Abbreviations

OMT

O-methyltransferase

bi-OMT

bispecific O-methyltransferase

CAD

cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase

Ptomt1

Populus tremuloides bi-OMT cDNA clone

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Upendra N. Dwivedi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wilbur H. Campbell
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jun Yu
    • 3
  • Raju S. S. Datla
    • 4
  • Robert C. Bugos
    • 1
    • 3
  • Vincent L. Chiang
    • 3
  • Gopi K. Podila
    • 2
  1. 1.Phytotechnology Research CenterMichigan Technological UniversityHoughtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesMichigan Technological UniversityHoughtonUSA
  3. 3.School of ForestryMichigan Technological UniversityHoughtonUSA
  4. 4.Plant Biotechnology InstituteSaskatoonCanada
  5. 5.Department of BiochemistryLucknow UniversityLucknonIndia
  6. 6.Hawaiian Sugar Planters' AssociationAieaUSA

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