The impact of silicon on cell wall composition and enzymatic saccharification of Brachypodium distachyon

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  • Sylwia Głazowska, Københavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Laetitia Baldwin, Københavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Jozef Mravec, Københavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Christian Bukh, Københavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Thomas Hesselhøj Hansen, Dep. of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Univ. of Copenhagen, Københavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Mads Mørk Jensen
  • Jonatan U. Fangel, Københavns Universitet
  • ,
  • William G.T. Willats, Københavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Marianne Glasius
  • Claus Felby, Københavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Jan Kofod Schjoerring, Københavns Universitet

Background: Plants and in particular grasses benefit from a high uptake of silicon (Si) which improves their growth and productivity by alleviating adverse effects of biotic and abiotic stress. However, the silicon present in plant tissues may have a negative impact on the processing and degradation of lignocellulosic biomass. Solutions to reduce the silicon content either by biomass engineering or development of downstream separation methods are therefore targeted. Different cell wall components have been proposed to interact with the silica pool in plant shoots, but the understanding of the underlying processes is still limited. Results: In the present study, we have characterized silicon deposition and cell wall composition in Brachypodium distachyon wild-type and low-silicon 1 (Bdlsi1-1) mutant plants. Our analyses included different organs and plant developmental stages. In the mutant defective in silicon uptake, low silicon availability favoured deposition of this element in the amorphous form or bound to cell wall polymers rather than as silicified structures. Several alterations in non-cellulosic polysaccharides and lignin were recorded in the mutant plants, indicating differences in the types of linkages and in the three-dimensional organization of the cell wall network. Enzymatic saccharification assays showed that straw from mutant plants was marginally more degradable following a 190 °C hydrothermal pretreatment, while there were no differences without or after a 120 °C hydrothermal pretreatment. Conclusions: We conclude that silicon affects the composition of plant cell walls, mostly by altering linkages of non-cellulosic polymers and lignin. The modifications of the cell wall network and the reduced silicon concentration appear to have little or no implications on biomass recalcitrance to enzymatic saccharification.

TidsskriftBiotechnology for Biofuels
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - 20 jun. 2018

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