skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Identification of developmental stage and anatomical fraction contributions to cell wall recalcitrance in switchgrass

Abstract

Background: Heterogeneity within herbaceous biomass can present important challenges for processing feedstocks to cellulosic biofuels. Alterations to cell wall composition and organization during plant growth represent major contributions to heterogeneity within a single species or cultivar. To address this challenge, the focus of this study was to characterize the relationship between composition and properties of the plant cell wall and cell wall response to deconstruction by NaOH pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis for anatomical fractions (stem internodes, leaf sheaths, and leaf blades) within switchgrass at various tissue maturities as assessed by differing internode. Results: Substantial differences in both cell wall composition and response to deconstruction were observed as a function of anatomical fraction and tissue maturity. Notably, lignin content increased with tissue maturity concurrently with decreasing ferulate content across all three anatomical fractions. Stem internodes exhibited the highest lignin content as well as the lowest hydrolysis yields, which were inversely correlated to lignin content. Confocal microscopy was used to demonstrate that removal of cell wall aromatics (i.e., lignins and hydroxycinnamates) by NaOH pretreatment was non-uniform across diverse cell types. Non-cellulosic polysaccharides were linked to differences in cell wall response to deconstruction in lower lignin fractions. Specifically, leaf sheath and leaf blademore » were found to have higher contents of substituted glucuronoarabinoxylans and pectic polysaccharides. Glycome profiling demonstrated that xylan and pectic polysaccharide extractability varied with stem internode maturity, with more mature internodes requiring harsher chemical extractions to remove comparable glycan abundances relative to less mature internodes. While enzymatic hydrolysis was performed on extractives-free biomass, extractible sugars (i.e., starch and sucrose) comprised a significant portion of total dry weight particularly in stem internodes, and may provide an opportunity for recovery during processing. Conclusions: Cell wall structural differences within a single plant can play a significant role in feedstock properties and have the potential to be exploited for improving biomass processability during a biorefining process. The results from this work demonstrate that cell wall lignin content, while generally exhibiting a negative correlation with enzymatic hydrolysis yields, is not the sole contributor to cell wall recalcitrance across diverse anatomical fractions within switchgrass.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [4];  [5];  [6]
  1. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
  2. 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)
  3. Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States). Complex Carbohydrate Research Center
  4. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). DOE-Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
  5. Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, MI (United States). Dept. of Chemical Engineering
  6. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science; Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). DOE-Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, and Dept. of Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering; Luleå Univ. of Technology, Luleå (Sweden). Dept. of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
National Science Foundation (NSF); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1418505
Grant/Contract Number:  
FC02-07ER64494; CBET 1336622; AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Biotechnology for Biofuels
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1754-6834
Publisher:
BioMed Central
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; Switchgrass; Recalcitrance; Cell wall glycans; Alkaline pretreatment

Citation Formats

Crowe, Jacob D., Feringa, Nicholas, Pattathil, Sivakumar, Merritt, Brian, Foster, Cliff, Dines, Dayna, Ong, Rebecca G., and Hodge, David B. Identification of developmental stage and anatomical fraction contributions to cell wall recalcitrance in switchgrass. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1186/s13068-017-0870-5.
Crowe, Jacob D., Feringa, Nicholas, Pattathil, Sivakumar, Merritt, Brian, Foster, Cliff, Dines, Dayna, Ong, Rebecca G., & Hodge, David B. Identification of developmental stage and anatomical fraction contributions to cell wall recalcitrance in switchgrass. United States. doi:10.1186/s13068-017-0870-5.
Crowe, Jacob D., Feringa, Nicholas, Pattathil, Sivakumar, Merritt, Brian, Foster, Cliff, Dines, Dayna, Ong, Rebecca G., and Hodge, David B. Fri . "Identification of developmental stage and anatomical fraction contributions to cell wall recalcitrance in switchgrass". United States. doi:10.1186/s13068-017-0870-5. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1418505.
@article{osti_1418505,
title = {Identification of developmental stage and anatomical fraction contributions to cell wall recalcitrance in switchgrass},
author = {Crowe, Jacob D. and Feringa, Nicholas and Pattathil, Sivakumar and Merritt, Brian and Foster, Cliff and Dines, Dayna and Ong, Rebecca G. and Hodge, David B.},
abstractNote = {Background: Heterogeneity within herbaceous biomass can present important challenges for processing feedstocks to cellulosic biofuels. Alterations to cell wall composition and organization during plant growth represent major contributions to heterogeneity within a single species or cultivar. To address this challenge, the focus of this study was to characterize the relationship between composition and properties of the plant cell wall and cell wall response to deconstruction by NaOH pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis for anatomical fractions (stem internodes, leaf sheaths, and leaf blades) within switchgrass at various tissue maturities as assessed by differing internode. Results: Substantial differences in both cell wall composition and response to deconstruction were observed as a function of anatomical fraction and tissue maturity. Notably, lignin content increased with tissue maturity concurrently with decreasing ferulate content across all three anatomical fractions. Stem internodes exhibited the highest lignin content as well as the lowest hydrolysis yields, which were inversely correlated to lignin content. Confocal microscopy was used to demonstrate that removal of cell wall aromatics (i.e., lignins and hydroxycinnamates) by NaOH pretreatment was non-uniform across diverse cell types. Non-cellulosic polysaccharides were linked to differences in cell wall response to deconstruction in lower lignin fractions. Specifically, leaf sheath and leaf blade were found to have higher contents of substituted glucuronoarabinoxylans and pectic polysaccharides. Glycome profiling demonstrated that xylan and pectic polysaccharide extractability varied with stem internode maturity, with more mature internodes requiring harsher chemical extractions to remove comparable glycan abundances relative to less mature internodes. While enzymatic hydrolysis was performed on extractives-free biomass, extractible sugars (i.e., starch and sucrose) comprised a significant portion of total dry weight particularly in stem internodes, and may provide an opportunity for recovery during processing. Conclusions: Cell wall structural differences within a single plant can play a significant role in feedstock properties and have the potential to be exploited for improving biomass processability during a biorefining process. The results from this work demonstrate that cell wall lignin content, while generally exhibiting a negative correlation with enzymatic hydrolysis yields, is not the sole contributor to cell wall recalcitrance across diverse anatomical fractions within switchgrass.},
doi = {10.1186/s13068-017-0870-5},
journal = {Biotechnology for Biofuels},
issn = {1754-6834},
number = 1,
volume = 10,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {12}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 7 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Figures / Tables:

Fig. 1 Fig. 1: Schematic of switchgrass tillers used for this study. Tillers were harvested above either the 5th or 6th internode, and then separated into internodes, discarding the nodes and panicle. Internodes were further manually subdivided into leaves, leaf sheaths, and stems. Diagram is representative and not to scale

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Feedstocks for Lignocellulosic Biofuels
journal, August 2010

  • Somerville, Cris; Youngs, Heather; Taylor, Caroline
  • Science, Vol. 329, Issue 5993, p. 790-792
  • DOI: 10.1126/science.1189268

Growth of the plant cell wall
journal, November 2005

  • Cosgrove, Daniel J.
  • Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, Vol. 6, Issue 11, p. 850-861
  • DOI: 10.1038/nrm1746

A Comprehensive Toolkit of Plant Cell Wall Glycan-Directed Monoclonal Antibodies
journal, April 2010

  • Pattathil, S.; Avci, U.; Baldwin, D.
  • Plant Physiology, Vol. 153, Issue 2, p. 514-525
  • DOI: 10.1104/pp.109.151985

Biomass Recalcitrance: Engineering Plants and Enzymes for Biofuels Production
journal, February 2007

  • Himmel, M. E.; Ding, S.-Y.; Johnson, D. K.
  • Science, Vol. 315, Issue 5813, p. 804-807
  • DOI: 10.1126/science.1137016

Effect of particle size based separation of milled corn stover on AFEX pretreatment and enzymatic digestibility
journal, January 2006

  • Chundawat, Shishir P.S.; Venkatesh, Balan; Dale, Bruce E.
  • Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Vol. 96, Issue 2, p. 219-231
  • DOI: 10.1002/bit.21132

Immunological Approaches to Plant Cell Wall and Biomass Characterization: Glycome Profiling
book, January 2012


Overexpression of the maize Corngrass1 microRNA prevents flowering, improves digestibility, and increases starch content of switchgrass
journal, October 2011

  • Chuck, G. S.; Tobias, C.; Sun, L.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 108, Issue 42, p. 17550-17555
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1113971108

Chemical composition and response to dilute-acid pretreatment and enzymatic saccharification of alfalfa, reed canarygrass, and switchgrass
journal, October 2006


Features of promising technologies for pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass
journal, April 2005


Compositional Analysis of Lignocellulosic Feedstocks. 1. Review and Description of Methods
journal, August 2010

  • Sluiter, Justin B.; Ruiz, Raymond O.; Scarlata, Christopher J.
  • Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 58, Issue 16, p. 9043-9053
  • DOI: 10.1021/jf1008023

Monolignol Ferulate Transferase Introduces Chemically Labile Linkages into the Lignin Backbone
journal, April 2014


Hydroxycinnamates in lignification
journal, August 2009


    Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.