Cell wall targeted in planta iron accumulation enhances biomass conversion and seed iron concentration in Arabidopsis and rice

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Abstract

© 2016 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Conversion of nongrain biomass into liquid fuel is a sustainable approach to energy demands as global population increases. Previously, we showed that iron can act as a catalyst to enhance the degradation of lignocellulosic biomass for biofuel production. However, direct addition of iron catalysts to biomass pretreatment is diffusion-limited, would increase the cost and complexity of biorefinery unit operations and may have deleterious environmental impacts. Here, we show a new strategy for in planta accumulation of iron throughout the volume of the cell wall where iron acts as a catalyst in the deconstruction of lignocellulosic biomass. We engineered CBM-IBP fusion polypeptides composed of a carbohydrate-binding module family 11 (CBM11) and an iron-binding peptide (IBP) for secretion into Arabidopsis and rice cell walls. CBM-IBP transformed Arabidopsis and rice plants show significant increases in iron accumulation and biomass conversion compared t o respective controls. Further, CBM-IBP rice shows a 35% increase in seed iron concentration and a 40% increase in seed yield in greenhouse experiments. CBM-IBP rice potentially could be used to address iron deficiency, the most common and widespread nutritional disorder according to the World Health Organization.

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Yang, H., Wei, H., Ma, G., Antunes, M. S., Vogt, S., Cox, J., … Peer, W. A. (2016). Cell wall targeted in planta iron accumulation enhances biomass conversion and seed iron concentration in Arabidopsis and rice. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 14(10), 1998–2009. https://doi.org/10.1111/pbi.12557

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