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Divergent selection for ester-linked diferulates in maize pith stalk tissues. Effects on cell wall composition and degradability

AuthorsBarros Ríos, Jaime Antonio ; Malvar Pintos, Rosa Ana ; Jung, Hans-Joachim G.; Bunzel, Mirko; Santiago Carabelos, Rogelio
KeywordsZea mays
Divergent mass selection
Hydroxycinnamic acids
Ferulate cross-links
In vitro biodegradability
Issue DateNov-2012
CitationPhytochemistry 83: 43–50 (2012)
AbstractCross-linking of grass cell wall components through diferulates (DFAs) has a marked impact on cell wall properties. However, results of genetic selection for DFA concentration have not been reported for any grass species. We report here the results of direct selection for ester-linked DFA concentration in maize stalk pith tissues and the associated changes in cell wall composition and biodegradability. After two cycles of divergent selection, maize populations selected for higher total DFA (DFAT) content (CHs) had 16% higher DFAT concentrations than populations selected for lower DFAT content (CLs). These significant DFA concentration gains suggest that DFA deposition in maize pith parenchyma cell walls is a highly heritable trait that is genetically regulated and can be modified trough conventional breeding. Maize populations selected for higher DFAT had 13% less glucose and 10% lower total cell wall concentration than CLs, suggesting that increased cross-linking of feruloylated arabinoxylans results in repacking of the matrix and possibly in thinner and firmer cell walls. Divergent selection affected esterified DFAT and monomeric ferulate ether cross link concentrations differently, supporting the hypothesis that the biosynthesis of these cell wall components are separately regulated. As expected, a more higher DFA ester cross-coupled arabinoxylan network had an effect on rumen cell wall degradability (CLs showed 12% higher 24-h total polysaccharide degradability than CHs). Interestingly, 8–8-coupled DFAs, previously associated with cell wall strength, were the best predictors of pith cell wall degradability (negative impact). Thus, further research on the involvement of these specific DFA regioisomers in limiting cell wall biodegradability is encouraged.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phytochem.2012.07.026
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