Altered Lignin Content and Composition in Transgenic Populus trichocarpa Results in a Decrease of Modulus of Elasticity

Zachary David Miller, Perry N. Peralta, Phil Mitchell, Vincent L. Chiang, Charles W. Edmunds, Ilona M. Peszlen


Transgenic Populus trichocarpa wood was compared to the corresponding wild-type material. The static modulus of elasticity in three-point bending was measured and the chemical composition among the specimens were compared, including the glucose, xylose, and lignin contents as well as the S/G ratio. Changes in chemical composition, created by genetic manipulations of the lignin biosynthetic pathway, affect the mechanical properties of young small-diameter transgenic trees. There are indications that a decrease in lignin content causes severe reductions in mechanical properties. Changes in lignin structure, either from an increased S/G ratio or structural lignin modifications, also negatively influence the mechanical properties.


CAD; C3H; C4H; Lignin; Glucose; Xylose; Modulus of Elasticity

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