Building modular hemicellulose synthases, now out in Biotechnology for Biofuels

We are happy to announce the publication of our work on modular hemicellulose production in Biotechnology for Biofuels, a leading (open-access!) journal for advancing the biological production of fuels, chemicals, and biomaterials. Here, we describe how enzymes from the cellulose synthase-like superfamily (found throughout the plant kingdom) can be assembled as modular parts (akin to LEGO bricks) to modulate their function and effects on eukaryotic cell growth.

Fig. 1


Robert, M., Waldhauer, J., Stritt, F. et al. Modular biosynthesis of plant hemicellulose and its impact on yeast cells. Biotechnol Biofuels 14, 140 (2021).

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Previously the article was available on bioRxiv preprint server:

New publication on wheat mannan

A collaborative study of mannan polysaccharide production in wheat (Triticum aestivum) is now published in the journal Plant Science. Wheat-like polymers that normally accumulate in the developing endosperm of the grain were produced in two heterologous hosts by the expression of a single enzyme, TaCSLA12. Additional mannan-related genes were identified in the wheat endosperm but were not essential for making the polysaccharides in yeast. Moreover, a wheat-like mannan production in a glucomannan-deficient Arabidopsis thaliana triple mutant (csla2 csla3 csla9) did not alter the plant morphology.

Congratulations to our colleagues at INRAE (Nantes, France; who led the study), the Joint BioEnergy Institute (Berkeley, California), Rothamsted Research (UK), and Heinrich Heine University (Düsseldorf, Germany; where our experimental work was conducted).


Fig. 2 from the study. Subcellular localization of enzymes that may be involved in mannan production. (Source:

Fig. 3 from the study. Quantification of beta-mannan production in yeast cells after plant enzyme expression. (Source: