Cinnamoyl-CoA reductase (CCR) catalyzes the penultimate step in
monolignol biosynthesis. It catalyzes the conversion of
feruloyl-CoA to coniferaldehyde and is considered the ﬁrst enzyme
in the monolignol-speciﬁc branch of the phenylpropanoid pathway.
Because downregulation of the CCR gene in annual model plants
signiﬁcantly reduced lignin content, downregulating CCR in a woody
perennial was an interesting potential avenue to improve wood
quality for pulping.