Technological watch

Multi-Omics and Genome Editing Studies on Plant Cell Walls to Improve Biomass Quality

Biomass is one of the most important sources of renewable energy and plays an important role in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. Efficient biomass production is essential to obtain large amounts of sustainable energy with minimal environmental cost. However, the biochemical and molecular processes behind the synthesis of the main components of biomass are still not fully understood. This review provides a comprehensive summary of the most relevant studies on cell wall biosynthesis and degradation mechanisms, focusing on the lignocellulosic component, in which the conversion process to fermentable sugars is expensive, due to its recalcitrant nature. A focus is placed on multi-omics research involving genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and phenomics, since multi-omics approaches offer a unique opportunity to investigate the biological pathways underlying the genotype traits characterizing cell wall energy crops. Furthermore, our study highlights the advances in genome editing approaches and proposes the modification of the genes that are involved in the complex cell wall structure as a feasible solution to an efficient biomass production. Several key points for future research activities based on these emerging technologies are also discussed, focusing on the combination of multi-omics and gene editing approaches, which offer potential for improved biomass valorization and the development of tangible bioproducts.

Publication date: 23/03/2023

Author: Tiziana Maria Sirangelo

Reference: doi: 10.3390/agriculture13040752



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.