Several research groups have been using Brachypodium distachyon as a model plant on grasses to understand the composition, biosynthesis, and recalcitrance of the cell wall because it has small size, easy to cultivate, short generation time, self-pollination, small genome, and contain similar genomics data of agronomical and industrial grasses such as rice, sorghum, and sugarcane. The cell wall of grasses consists of cellulose involved by glucuronoarabinoxylana (GAX), high levels of ferulic acid (FA) and p-coumaric acid (pCA), and lignin. The content of FA and pCA is one of the factors that contributes to the recalcitrance of the cell wall making it difficult for the bioenergetic industry to obtain polysaccharides and digestibility by ruminants. Since 2007, the functional characterization of the superfamily BAHD (Mitchell clade) genes in grasses such as rice, Brachypodium, maize, Setaria, and sugarcane reveal that the deregulation of these genes alters the content of hydroxycinnamic acids, leading to increased saccharification. For these reasons, the present project proposes the functional genomics characterization of Brachypodium distachyon T- DNA lines inserted at target genes. The specific proposal will be conducted through genotyping, gene expression analysis, and characterization of the chemical composition of the cell wall. Mutants lines with distinct results from wild-type lines will be evaluated by saccharification for biotechnological applications.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: