Modifying the cellular wall of plants

October 11, 2016

Low molecular weight compound thickens cell walls and enhances saccharification efficiency

RIKEN CSRS and the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) joint research has found that the antibacterial agent lasalocid sodium works in plants to thicken the cell wall and enhance saccharification efficiency.

To obtain chemicals that change cell wall property, these researchers screened more than 4000 chemicals and selected 22 candidate chemicals which altered cell shape of BY-2 cells. As the secondary screening, the cells were treated with 22 candidate chemicals and stained with calcofluor to observe the cell walls of BY-2 cells. As a result, cells treated with lasalocid sodium strongly showed calcofluor signals and then lasalocid sodium was selected as a candidate chemical to following researches. Transmission electron microscopic analysis revealed that cells treated with lasalocid sodium possess thickened cell walls. Microarray analysis revealed up-regulation of type-III peroxidase genes, and DAB staining confirmed peroxidase activity. This chemical probably affected the shape of the cell through regulation of cell wall loosening, which may be partly explained by up-regulation of peroxidase activity. In addition, it became apparent that cells treated with lasalocid sodium have enhanced saccharification efficiency in cell walls. Taken together, usage of lasalocid sodium which changes the cell wall architecuture enable to enlarge utilization efficiency of cell wall.

Lasalocid sodium has potential as an accelerator of efficiency of enzymatic saccharification of cell wall.


Original article
Scientific reports doi:10.1038/srep34602
E. Okubo-Kurihara, M. Ohtani, Y. Kurihara, K. Kakegawa, M. Kobayashi, N. Nagata, T. Komatsu, J. Kikuchi, S. Cutler, T. Demura, M. Matsui,
"Modification of plant cell wall structure accompanied by enhancement of saccharification efficiency using a chemical, lasalocid sodium".

Emiko Kurihara; Postdoctoral Researcher
Minami Matsui; Group Director
Synthetic Genomics Research Group