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J Integr Plant Biol, 2015, 57 (11): 902-912, Research Article
Roles of lignin biosynthesis and regulatory genes in plant development
Jinmi Yoon1,2, Heebak Choi1,2 and Gynheung An1,3*
1Crop Biotech Institute, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Korea
2Department of Life Science, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang, Korea
3Graduate School of Biotechnology, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Korea
*Correspondence: E-mail:
doi: 10.1111/jipb.12422

Lignin is an important factor affecting agricultural traits, biofuel production, and the pulping industry. Most lignin biosynthesis genes and their regulatory genes are expressed mainly in the vascular bundles of stems and leaves, preferentially in tissues undergoing lignification. Other genes are poorly expressed during normal stages of development, but are strongly induced by abiotic or biotic stresses. Some are expressed in non-lignifying tissues such as the shoot apical meristem. Alterations in lignin levels affect plant development. Suppression of lignin biosynthesis genes causes abnormal phenotypes such as collapsed xylem, bending stems, and growth retardation. The loss of expression by genes that function early in the lignin biosynthesis pathway results in more severe developmental phenotypes when compared with plants that have mutations in later genes. Defective lignin deposition is also associated with phenotypes of seed shattering or brittle culm. MYB and NAC transcriptional factors function as switches, and some homeobox proteins negatively control lignin biosynthesis genes. Ectopic deposition caused by overexpression of lignin biosynthesis genes or master switch genes induces curly leaf formation and dwarfism.


Yoon J, Choi H, An G (2015) Roles of lignin biosynthesis and regulatory genes in plant development. J Integr Plant Biol 57: 902–912 doi: 10.1111/jipb.12422

Received: 22 February 2015      Accepted:    Online on:
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