Elucidating the multifunctional role of the cell wall components in the maize exploitation
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/2760
UNESCO SUBJECT: 3103.01 Producción de Cultivos ; 3103.08 Gestión de la Producción Vegetal ; 2417 Biología Vegetal (Botánica)
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
Background Besides the use of maize grain as food and feed, maize stover can be a profitable by-product for cellulosic ethanol production, whereas the whole plant can be used for silage production. However, yield is reduced by pest damages, stem corn borers being one of the most important yield constraints. Overall, cell wall composition is key in determining the quality of maize biomass, as well as pest resistance. This study aims to evaluate the composition of the four cell wall fractions (cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin and hydroxycinnamates) in diverse maize genotypes and to understand how this composition influences the resistance to pests, ethanol capacity and digestibility. Results The following results can be highlighted: (i) pests’ resistant materials may show cell walls with low p-coumaric acid and low hemicellulose content; (ii) inbred lines showing cell walls with high cellulose content and high diferulate cross-linking may present higher performance for ethanol production; (iii) and inbreds with enhanced digestibility may have cell walls poor in neutral detergent fibre and diferulates, combined with a lignin polymer composition richer in G subunits. Conclusions Results evidence that there is no maize cell wall ideotype among the tested for optimal performance for various uses, and maize plants should be specifically bred for each particular application
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