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Hemicelluloses mediate interactions between lignin and cellulose in cell walls and thus play a key role in determining final properties of wood. We are deciphering these interactions by modifying hemicellulose structures in transgenic trees. In the project you will study effects of particular xylan modifications on tree growth and development, and on wood properties.
Transgenic plants will be provided. Transgene expression will be analyzed by DNA/RNA/protein activity and plants will be phenotyped by microscopy, growth analysis and various types of cell wall analyses. Possibility of field work.
Pawar P M-A, Derba-Maceluch M, Chong SL, Gandla ML, Bashar SS, Sparrman T, Ahvenainen P, Hedenström M, Özparpucu M, Rüggeberge M, Serimaa R, Lawoko M, Tenkanen M, Jönsson LJ, Mellerowicz EJ*. 2017. In muro deacetylation of xylan increases lignin extractability and improves saccharification of aspen wood. Biotechnology for Biofuels, 10:98
Derba-Maceluch M, Awano T, Takahashi J, Lucenius J, Ratke C, Kontro I, Busse-Wicher M, Kosik O, Tanaka R, Winzéll A, Kallas Å, Lesniewska J, Berthold F, Immerzeel P, Teeri TT, Ezcurra I, Dupree P, Serimaa R, and Mellerowicz EJ*. 2015. Suppression of xylan transglycosylase PtxtXyn10A affects cellulose microfibril angle in secondary wall in aspen wood. New Phytologist 205: 666–681.