Physiologia plantarum

The suppression of AtPrx52 affects fibers but not xylem lignification in Arabidopsis by altering the proportion of syringyl units.

PMID 25410139


Lignins result from the oxidative polymerization of three hydroxycinnamyl (p-coumaryl, coniferyl and sinapyl) alcohols in a reaction mediated by peroxidases (EC and laccases (EC, yielding H, G and S units, respectively. Although both acidic and basic peroxidases can oxidize p-coumaryl and coniferyl alcohol, only basic peroxidases are able to oxidize sinapyl alcohol. The AtPrx52 from Arabidopsis is a basic peroxidase that has been reported to be highly homologous to the basic peroxidase of Zinnia elegans, the only peroxidase which has been unequivocally linked to lignin formation. Here, we show how the suppression of AtPrx52 causes a change in lignin composition, mainly at the level of stem interfascicular fibers. Quantification of lignins in two different atprx52 knock-out mutants revealed a decrease of lignin amount compared with wild type. The S/G ratio, obtained by both nitrobenzene oxidation and thioacidolysis, indicated a decrease in S units in the atprx52 mutants. As deduced from Wiesner and mainly Mäule staining, this reduction in S unit content appears to be restricted to the interfascicular fibers. Moreover, quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis in atprx52 plants showed a general downregulation of genes involved in lignin biosynthetic pathway, as well as genes related to secondary cell wall. On the other hand, other routes from phenylpropanoid metabolism were induced. Taken together, our results indicate that AtPrx52 is involved in the synthesis of S units in interfascicular fibers at late stages of the lignification process.