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Title: Insights into plant cell wall structure, architecture, and integrity using glycome profiling of native and AFEXTM -pre-treated biomass

We report that cell walls, which constitute the bulk of plant biomass, vary considerably in their structure, composition, and architecture. Studies on plant cell walls can be conducted on both native and pre-treated plant biomass samples, allowing an enhanced understanding of these structural and compositional variations. Here glycome profiling was employed to determine the relative abundance of matrix polysaccharides in several phylogenetically distinct native and pre-treated plant biomasses. Eight distinct biomass types belonging to four different subgroups (i.e. monocot grasses, woody dicots, herbaceous dicots, and softwoods) were subjected to various regimes of AFEX™ (ammonia fiber expansion) pre-treatment [AFEX is a trademark of MBI, Lansing (]. This approach allowed detailed analysis of close to 200 cell wall glycan epitopes and their relative extractability using a high-throughput platform. In general, irrespective of the phylogenetic origin, AFEX™ pre-treatment appeared to cause loosening and improved accessibility of various xylan epitope subclasses in most plant biomass materials studied. For most biomass types analysed, such loosening was also evident for other major non-cellulosic components including subclasses of pectin and xyloglucan epitopes. The studies also demonstrate that AFEX™ pre-treatment significantly reduced cell wall recalcitrance among diverse phylogenies (except softwoods) by inducing structural modifications to polysaccharides that weremore » not detectable by conventional gross composition analyses. Lastly, we found that monitoring changes in cell wall glycan compositions and their relative extractability for untreated and pre-treated plant biomass can provide an improved understanding of variations in structure and composition of plant cell walls and delineate the role(s) of matrix polysaccharides in cell wall recalcitrance.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States). Complex Carbohydrate Research Center; Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC)
  2. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Dept. of Chemical Engineering
  3. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Dept. of Chemical Engineering; Rutgers Univ., Piscataway, NJ (United States). Dept. of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; FC02-07ER64494; DBI-0421683; IOS-0923992
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Experimental Botany
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 66; Journal Issue: 14; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-0957
Oxford University Press
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 09 BIOMASS FUELS recalcitrance; plant biomass; glycome profiling; AFEX; biofuels; cell walls