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Sci Rep. 2016 Oct 3;6:34602. doi: 10.1038/srep34602.

Modification of plant cell wall structure accompanied by enhancement of saccharification efficiency using a chemical, lasalocid sodium.

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RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0045, Japan.
Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Ikoma, Nara 630-0192, Japan.
Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8687, Japan.
Faculty of Science, Japan Woman's University, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-8681, Japan.
Graduate School of Medical Life Science, Yokohama City University, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0045, Japan.
Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, Center for Plant Cell Biology, University of California Riverside, 5451 Boyce Hall, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.


The cell wall is one major determinant of plant cell morphology, and is an attractive bioresource. Here, we report a novel strategy to modify plant cell wall property by small molecules. Lasalocid sodium (LS) was isolated by chemical screening to identify molecules that affect the cell morphology of tobacco BY-2 cells. LS treatment led to an increase in cell wall thickness, whilst the quantity and sugar composition of the cell wall remained unchanged in BY-2 cells. The chemical also disordered the cellular arrangement of hypocotyls of Arabidopsis plants, resulting in a decrease in hypocotyl length. LS treatment enhanced enzymatic saccharification efficiency in both BY-2 cells and Arabidopsis plants. Microarray analysis on Arabidopsis showed that exposure to LS upregulated type III peroxidase genes, of which some are involved in lignin biogenesis, and jasmonic acid response genes, and phloroglucinol staining supported the activation of lignification by the LS treatment. As jasmonic acid-mediated lignification is a typical reaction to cell wall damage, it is possible that LS induces cell wall loosening, which can trigger cell wall damage response. Thus, LS is a unique chemical for modification of cell wall and morphology through changes in cell wall architecture.

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