The present invention provides an expression cassette containing a polynucleotide coding sequence for a hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA hydratase-lyase (HCHL), which is operably linked to a heterologous promoter. Also provided are methods of engineering plants that have reduced lignification, as well as cells, plant parts, and plant tissues from such engineered plants.
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
 This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in this invention.