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Issue 22, 2001
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NMR characterization of lignins from transgenic poplars with suppressed caffeic acid O-methyltransferase activity

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Abstract

Perturbing the lignin biosynthetic pathway provides a tool for understanding the complex process of lignification. Caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) is required to produce syringyl units in lignins. Down-regulating the expression of its gene in poplar dramatically affects the lignin composition. 2D and 3D NMR investigations detail structural differences between lignins from a control and COMT-deficient poplars obtained by means of two independent transformation techniques. This first application of 3D NMR to natural abundance lignins reveals the full side-chain network and provides diagnostic evidence for the intimate incorporation of 5-hydroxyconiferyl alcohol into the lignins to form novel benzodioxanes as major structures. The flexibility of a plant to utilize novel monomers to produce functional lignins provides opportunities for engineering the structure and affecting the consequent properties of lignins.

Graphical abstract: NMR characterization of lignins from transgenic poplars with suppressed caffeic acid O-methyltransferase activity

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 Aug 2001, accepted on 18 Sep 2001 and first published on 19 Oct 2001


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B107219F
Citation: J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. 1, 2001, 2939-2945
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    NMR characterization of lignins from transgenic poplars with suppressed caffeic acid O-methyltransferase activity

    J. M. Marita, J. Ralph, C. Lapierre, L. Jouanin and W. Boerjan, J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. 1, 2001, 2939
    DOI: 10.1039/B107219F

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