Fourier-transform infrared and Raman spectroscopic evidence for the incorporation of cinnamaldehydes into the lignin of transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) plants with reduced expression of cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase

D. Stewart, N. Yahiaoui, G.J. McDougall, K. Myton, C. Marque, A.M. Boudet, J. Haigh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    104 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Xylem from stems of genetically manipulated tobacco plants which had had cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD; EC 1.1.1.195) activity down-regulated to a greater or lesser degree (clones 37 and 49, respectively) by the insertion of antisense CAD cDNA had similar, or slightly higher, lignin contents than xylem from wild-type plants. Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) microspectroscopy indicated that down-regulation of CAD had resulted in the incorporation of moieties with conjugated carbonyl groups into lignin and that the overall extent of cross-linking, particularly of guaiacyl (4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl) rings, in the lignin had altered. The FT-Raman spectra of manipulated xylem exhibited maxima consistent with the presence of elevated levels of aldehydic groups conjugated to a carbon-carbon double bond and a guaiacyl ring. These maxima were particularly intense in the spectra of xylem from clone 37, the xylem of which exhibits a uniform red coloration, and their absolute frequencies matched those of coniferaldehyde. Furthermore, xylem from clone 37 was found to have a higher content of carbonyl groups than that of clone 49 or the wild-type (clone 37: clone 49: wild-type; 2.4:1.6:1.0) as measured by a degradative chemical method. This is the first report of the combined use of FT-IR and FT-Raman spectroscopies to study lignin structure in situ. These analyses provide strong evidence for the incorporation of cinnamaldehyde groups into the lignin of transgenic plants with down-regulated CAD expression. In addition, these non-destructive analyses also suggest that the plants transformed with antisense CAD, in particular clone 37, may contain lignin that is less condensed (cross-linked) than that of the wild-type.
    © Springer-Verlag
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)311-318
    Number of pages8
    JournalPlanta
    Volume201
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1997

    Keywords

    • lignin-cell walls
    • cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase
    • infrared
    • raman

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