Establishment of Miscanthus sinensis with decreased lignin biosynthesis by Agrobacterium–mediated transformation using antisense COMT gene

Ji Hye Yoo, Eun Soo Seong, Bimal Kumar Ghimire, Kweon Heo, Xiaoli Jin, Toshihiko Yamada, Lindsay V. Clark, Erik J. Sacks, Chang Yeon Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study was to determine a transformation system for Miscanthus sinensis, and to optimize factors and conditions required for expression of an antisense caffeic acid O-methyltransferase gene in the M. sinensis (MsCOMT-AS). Transformation of callus derived from seeds and immature inflorescences of M. sinensis was established by using Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain LBA4404 harboring a binary vector pMBP1. In order to establish the stable transformation system, several transformation factors such as explant type, strain, co-culture periods, acetosyringone concentration, and selective markers were assessed. In this study, seven putative transgenic plants were obtained from callus transformation and plantlet regeneration. Various tests including PCR analysis and RT-PCR were used to detect the transgenic insert. The transgenic plants were also characterized for their agronomic and morphological characteristics, expression of MsCOMT-AS gene, and variation in lignocellulosic content. Biomass related traits such as plant height, number of leaves, length of leaf, stem diameter, fresh weight, dry weight, and cell size of the control plants were superior to transgenic plants. Total lignin content of transgenic plants was lower than that of the control plant due to reduced caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene expression related to lignin production. Cellulose and hemicellulose content in transgenic plants were not increased. Variation in cellulose and hemicellulose content had no correlation with variation in lignin content of transgenic plants. In conclusion, transgenic M. sinensis was obtained with down-regulated COMT gene. Lignin synthesis was decreased what offers possibility of crop modification for facilitated biofuel production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-369
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Agrobacterium-mediated transformation
  • Antisense caffeic acid O-methyl-transferase (COMT-AS)
  • Lignin biosynthesis
  • Lignocellulosic complex
  • Miscanthus sinensis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture


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