The invention relates to isolated nucleic acids encoding a feruloyl-CoA:monolignol transferase and feruloyl-CoA:monolignol transferase enzymes. The isolated nucleic acids and/or the enzymes enable incorporation of monolignol ferulates into the lignin of plants, where such monolignol ferulates include, for example, p-coumaryl ferulate, coniferyl ferulate, and/or sinapyl ferulate. The invention also includes methods and plants that include nucleic acids encoding a feruloyl-CoA:monolignol transferase enzyme and/or feruloyl-CoA:monolignol transferase enzymes.
 This invention was made with government support from Grant No. DE-FC02-07ER64494 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Biological and the Environmental Research (BER) Office of Science. The government has certain rights in the invention.
 This invention was made as a result of activities undertaken within the scope of a Joint Research Agreement between Michigan State University and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.