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Data from: A systems biology view of responses to lignin biosynthesis perturbations in Arabidopsis

Cite this dataset

Vanholme, Ruben et al. (2013). Data from: A systems biology view of responses to lignin biosynthesis perturbations in Arabidopsis [Dataset]. Dryad.


Lignin engineering is an attractive strategy to improve lignocellulosic biomass quality for processing to biofuels and other bio-based products. However, lignin engineering also results in profound metabolic consequences in the plant. We used a systems biology approach to study the plant’s response to lignin perturbations. To this end, inflorescence stems of 20 Arabidopsis thaliana mutants, each mutated in a single gene of the lignin biosynthetic pathway (PAL1 , PAL2, C4H, 4CL1, 4CL2, CCoAOMT1, CCR1, F5H1, COMT and CAD6, two mutant alleles each), were analyzed by transcriptomics and metabolomics. 566 compounds were detected, of which 187 could be tentatively identified based on MS fragmentation and many were new for Arabidopsis. Up to 675 genes were differentially expressed in mutants that did not have any obvious visible phenotypes. Comparing the responses of all mutants indicated that c4h, 4cl1, ccoaomt1 and ccr1, mutants that produced less lignin, upregulated the shikimate, methyl-donor and phenylpropanoid pathways, i.e. the pathways supplying the monolignols. In By contrast, f5h1 and comt, mutants that provoked lignin compositional shifts, downregulated the very same pathways. Reductions in the flux to lignin were associated with the accumulation of various classes of 4-O and 9-O hexosylated phenylpropanoids. By combining metabolomic and transcriptomic data in a correlation network, system-wide consequences of the perturbations were revealed and genes with a putative role in phenolic metabolism were identified. Together, our data provide novel insight into lignin biosynthesis and the metabolic network it is embedded in and provide a systems view of the plant’s response to pathway perturbations.

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