Deposition of lignin in four species of Saccharum.


Departamento de Biologia Vegetal, Instituto de Biologia, CP 6109, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, SP, 13083-970, Brazil. [Email]


We used primers designed on conserved gene regions of several species to isolate the most expressed genes of the lignin pathway in four Saccharum species. S. officinarum and S. barberi have more sucrose in the culms than S. spontaneum and S. robustum, but less polysaccharides and lignin in the cell wall. S. spontaneum, and S. robustum had the lowest S/G ratio and a lower rate of saccharification in mature internodes. Surprisingly, except for CAD, 4CL, and CCoAOMT for which we found three, two, and two genes, respectively, only one gene was found for the other enzymes and their sequences were highly similar among the species. S. spontaneum had the highest expression for most genes. CCR and CCoAOMT B presented the highest expression; 4CL and F5H showed increased expression in mature tissues; C3H and CCR had higher expression in S. spontaneum, and one of the CADs isolated (CAD B) had higher expression in S. officinarum. The similarity among the most expressed genes isolated from these species was unexpected and indicated that lignin biosynthesis is conserved in Saccharum including commercial varieties Thus the lignin biosynthesis control in sugarcane may be only fully understood with the knowledge of the promotor region of each gene.