Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have unveiled the first glycosyltransferase clone collection specifically targeted for the study of the biosynthesis of plant cell walls.
The idea behind what is being called “the JBEI GT Collection” is to provide a functional genomic resource for researchers seeking to extract the sugars in plant biomass and synthesize them into clean, green and renewable transportation fuels.
Glycosyltransferases (GTs) are enzymes that catalyze the connection of simple monosaccharide sugars into the complex polysaccharide sugars that are essential to a wide range of plant cell structures and processes. While it is known that plants have evolved large families of GTs, the chemical nature of these enzymes is such that the specific functions of most GTs remain largely unknown. This is a major drawback for bioenergy research where the goal is to modify plant biomass for maximum fuel yields.
To address this problem, especially as it pertains to cell wall biosynthesis, a large team of JBEI researchers, led by Joshua Heazlewood, director of JBEI’s Plant Systems Biology program, has cloned and verified a clone library consisting of 403 Arabidopsis GTs and 96 rice GTs. In plant biology, Arabidopsis is the reference plant for species like poplar, and rice the reference plant for grasses.
“Using the unique infrastructure and resources at JBEI, we have provided a collection of high quality GT clones, all of which have been verified by sequencing and are available in easy to use cassettes,” Heazelwood says. “We’re making this entire collection available to the plant research community and expect it to drive our basic understanding of GTs and enable the manipulation of cell walls.”
In addition to the clones for Arabidopsis and rice GTs, Heazlewood and his collaborators at JBEI also created a set of highly efficient particle bombardment plasmids – pBullets – which are plasmids shot into a cell to mark the location of targeted proteins. The JBEI pBullets are constructed with markers for the plant endomembrane system, the collection of membranes that separates a cell’s functional and structural compartments.
“Our pBullet vector series is custom designed for efficient bombardment,” Heazlewood says. “Researchers generally use large unwieldy plasmids that perform badly when it comes to localizing proteins.”
While the 403 Arabidopsis clones represent approximately 88-percent of the defined Arabidopsis GTs, the 96 rice clones represent only 15-percent of the defined rice GTs. JBEI researchers are now working to expand this. Both the JBEI GT Collection and pBullet vector series are available to the research community through various outlets. For more information visit the Website at http://gt.jbei.org/
Heazlewood and his collaborators have published a paper on the JBEI GT Collection in The Plant Journal. The paper is titled “The Plant Glycosyltransferase Clone Collection for Functional Genomics.” Co-authors were Jeemeng Lao, Ai Oikawa, Jennifer Bromley, Peter McInerney, Anongpat Suttangkakul, Andreia Smith-Moritz, Hector Plahar, Tsan-Yu Chiu, Susana González Fernández-Niño, Berit Ebert, Fan Yang, Katy Christiansen, Sara Hansen, Solomon Stonebloom, Paul Adams, Pamela Ronald, Nathan Hillson, Masood Hadi, Miguel Vega-Sánchez, Dominique Loqué and Henrik Scheller.
This research was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
Additional Information For more about the Joint BioEnergy Institute go here
Lynn Yarris | Eurek Alert!
Building a better battery
29.06.2016 | Texas A&M University
New way out: Researchers show how stem cells exit bloodstream
29.06.2016 | North Carolina State University
3D printing revolutionized the manufacturing of complex shapes in the last few years. Using additive depositing of materials, where individual dots or lines...
R2D2, a joint project to analyze and development high-TRL processes and technologies for manufacture of flexible organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has been successfully completed.
In contrast to point light sources like LEDs made of inorganic semiconductor crystals, organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are light-emitting surfaces. Their...
High resolution rotational spectroscopy reveals an unprecedented number of conformations of an odorant molecule – a new world record!
In a recent publication in the journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter...
Strands of cow cartilage substitute for ink in a 3D bioprinting process that may one day create cartilage patches for worn out joints, according to a team of engineers. "Our goal is to create tissue that can be used to replace large amounts of worn out tissue or design patches," said Ibrahim T. Ozbolat, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics. "Those who have osteoarthritis in their joints suffer a lot. We need a new alternative treatment for this."
Cartilage is a good tissue to target for scale-up bioprinting because it is made up of only one cell type and has no blood vessels within the tissue. It is...
Physicists in Innsbruck have realized the first quantum simulation of lattice gauge theories, building a bridge between high-energy theory and atomic physics. In the journal Nature, Rainer Blatt‘s and Peter Zoller’s research teams describe how they simulated the creation of elementary particle pairs out of the vacuum by using a quantum computer.
Elementary particles are the fundamental buildings blocks of matter, and their properties are described by the Standard Model of particle physics. The...
28.06.2016 | Event News
09.06.2016 | Event News
24.05.2016 | Event News
29.06.2016 | Life Sciences
29.06.2016 | Life Sciences
29.06.2016 | Earth Sciences