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Rice Os02g22380 Encodes a Glycosyltansferase Critical for Xylose Biosynthesis in the Cell Wall

Description:

Researchers at the JBEI have identified a glyco-syltransferase encoded by a rice gene that is critical for xylose biosynthesis in plant cell walls. Inhibiting the expression of the gene, Os02g22380, in bioenergy plants reduces the plants lignin content, thus reducing recalcitrance of their cell walls and increasing the amount of soluble sugar that can be extracted from them. The technology is applicable to wheat, rice, corn, switchgrass, sorghum, millet, miscanthus, sugarcane, barley, turfgrass, hemp, bamboo and Bracypodium. Mutant rice plants based on this finding demonstrated reduced height with leaves deficient in xylose as well as ferulic acid and coumaric acid, acids linked with the inhibition of microbes ability to covert sugars to fuels. Using a promoter to limit the action of this gene to non-vascular tissue could improve plant height to compare favorably with wild type plants.
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