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Structural Characterization of Modified Lignin in Transgenic Tobacco Plants in Which the Activity of 4-Coumarate:Coenzyme A Ligase Is Depressed

Shinya Kajita, Shojiro Hishiyama, Yoichi Tomimura, Yoshihiro Katayama and Shunji Omori
Plant Physiology
Vol. 114, No. 3 (Jul., 1997), pp. 871-879
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4277779
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Structural Characterization of Modified Lignin in Transgenic Tobacco Plants in Which the Activity of 4-Coumarate:Coenzyme A Ligase Is Depressed
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Abstract

Transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) plants in which the activity of 4-coumarate:coenzyme A ligase is very low contain a novel lignin in their xylem. Details of changes in hydroxycinnamic acids bound to cell walls and in the structure of the novel lignin were identified by base hydrolysis, alkaline nitrobenzene oxidation, pyrolysis-gas chromatography, and 13C-nuclear magnetic resonance analysis. In the brownish tissue of the transgenic plants, the levels of three hydroxycinnamic acids, p-coumaric, ferulic, and sinapic, which were bound to cell walls, were apparently increased as a result of down-regulation of the expression of the gene for 4-coumarate:coenzyme A ligase. Some of these hydroxycinnamic acids were linked to cell walls via ester and ether linkages. The accumulation of hydroxycinnamic acids also induced an increase in the level of condensed units in the novel lignin of the brownish tissue. Our data indicate that the behavior of some of the incorporated hydroxycinnamic acids resembles lignin monomers in the brownish tissue, and their accumulation results in dramatic changes in the biosynthesis of lignin in transgenic plants.

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