Disruption of Brachypodium lichenase alters metabolism of mixed-linkage glucan and starch


M. Fan et al. "Disruption of Brachypodiumlichenase alters metabolism of mixed-linkage glucan and starch" The Plant Journal (2021) [DOI:10.1111/tpj.1560312]


Mixed-linkage glucan, which is widely distributed in grasses, is a polysaccharide highly abundant in cell walls of grass endosperm and young vegetative tissues. Lichenases are enzymes that hydrolyze mixed-linkage glucan first identified in mixed-linkage glucan-rich lichens. In this study, we identify a gene encoding a lichenase we name Brachypodium distachyon LICHENASE 1 (BdLCH1), which is highly expressed in the endosperm of germinating seeds and coleoptiles and at lower amounts in mature shoots. RNA in situ hybridization showed that BdLCH1 is primarily expressed in chlorenchyma cells of mature leaves and internodes. Disruption of BdLCH1 resulted in an eight-fold increase in mixed-linkage glucan content in senesced leaves. Consistent with the in situ hybridization data, immunolocalization results showed that mixed-linkage glucan was not removed in chlorenchyma cells of lch1 mutants as it was in wild type and implicate the BdLCH1 enzyme in removing mixed-linkage glucan in chlorenchyma cells in mature vegetative tissues. We also show that mixed-linkage glucan accumulation in lch1 mutants was resistant to dark-induced degradation, and 8-week-old lch1 plants showed a faster rate of starch breakdown than wild type in darkness. Our results suggest a role for BdLCH1 in modifying the cell wall to support highly metabolically active cells.

Data Access

Sequence data for the genes mentioned in this study can be found in B. distachyon genome as follows: BdLCH1 (Bradi2g27140.1), BdCSLF6 (Bradi3g16307.1), and BdCESA1 (Bradi2g34240.1). The transcriptional profiling data used in this article can be found at NCBI under accession numbers: EI-1, SAMN08097904; EI-2, SAMN08097907; EI-3, SAMN08097910; EI-4, SAMN08097913; EI-5, SAMN08097916; EI-6, SAMN08097919; EI-7, SAMN08097922; EI-8, SAMN08097925; EI-9, SAMN08097928; EI-10, SAMN08097931; FEI1, SAMN08097934; FEI2, SAMN08097937; FEI3, SAMN08097940; FEI4, SAMN08097943; EndoGerm, SAMN08097973; Mature leaf, SAMN08097979; Elongating leaf, SAMN10078799; Coleoptile-24h, SAMN08097868; Coleoptile-48h, SAMN08097889; Coleoptile-72h, SAMN08097898; and Coleoptile-120h, SAMN08097901.