Xylan is the predominant hemicellulose in the primary cell walls of grasses, but its synthesis and interactions with other wall polysaccharides are complex and incompletely understood. To probe xylan biosynthesis, we generated CRISPR/Cas9 knockout and amiRNA knockdown lines of BdGT43B2, an ortholog of the wheat TaGT43-4 xylan synthase scaffolding protein in the IRX14 clade, in Brachypodium distachyon. Knockout of BdGT43B2 caused stunting and premature death in Brachypodium seedlings. Immunofluorescence labeling of xylans was greatly reduced in homozygous knockout BdGT43B2 mutants, whereas cellulose labeling was unchanged or slightly increased. Biochemical analysis showed reductions in digestible xylan in knockout mutant walls, and cell size was smaller in knockout leaves. BdGT43B2 knockdown plants appeared morphologically normal as adults, but showed slight reductions in seedling growth and small decreases in xylose content in isolated cell walls. Immunofluorescence labeling of xylan and cellulose staining was both reduced in BdGT43B2 knockdown plants. Together, these data indicate that BdGT43B2 functions in the synthesis of a form of xylan that is required for seedling growth and survival in Brachypodium distachyon.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
- Plant Science