The invention provides methods for modifying lignin content and composition in plants and achieving associated benefits therefrom involving altered expression of newly discovered MYB4 transcription factors. Nucleic acid constructs for modifying MYB4 transcription factor expression are described. By over-expressing the identified MYB4 transcription factors, for example, an accompanying decrease in lignin content may be achieved. Plants are provided by the invention comprising such modifications, as are methods for their preparation and use.
This invention was made with government support under Grant No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy through the BioEnergy Science Center of the Office of Biological and Environmental Research. The government has certain rights in the invention.