Provided herein are transgenic plants that include increased expression of a coding region encoding a PAE poly-peptide compared to a control plant. In one embodiment, a transgenic plant includes a phenotype of decreased recalcitrance, increased growth, or the combination thereof. Also provided herein are methods for generating transgenic plants, and methods for using transgenic plants. Examples of methods for using transgenic plants include, for instance, processing a transgenic plant described herein to result in a processed pulp, and exposing a plant material obtained from a plant described herein to conditions suitable for the production of a metabolic product.
 The present invention was made with government support under Grant No. DE-AC05-00OR22725, BioEnergy Science Center (BESC), awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.