Plant biomass recalcitrance: effect of hemicellulose composition on nanoscale forces that control cell wall strength

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1021/ja405634k
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TypeArticle
Journal titleJournal of the American Chemical Society
ISSN0002-7863
Volume135
Issue51
Pages1904819051; # of pages: 4
SubjectCell wall structure; Cellulose surfaces; Chemical compositions; Hydrogen bond donors; Lignocellulosic biomass; Molecular pictures; Molecular theory of solvation; Valuable chemicals; Cellulose; acetic acid; arabinose; carboxylic acid; functional group; glucuronic acid; hemicellulose; aqueous solution; chemical composition; decomposition; density; molecular recognition; molecular weight; phenotype; plant growth; proton transport; stereochemistry; thermodynamics
AbstractEfficient conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to second-generation biofuels and valuable chemicals requires decomposition of resilient plant cell wall structure. Cell wall recalcitrance varies among plant species and even phenotypes, depending on the chemical composition of the noncellulosic matrix. Changing the amount and composition of branches attached to the hemicellulose backbone can significantly alter the cell wall strength and microstructure. We address the effect of hemicellulose composition on primary cell wall assembly forces by using the 3D-RISM-KH molecular theory of solvation, which provides statistical-mechanical sampling and molecular picture of hemicellulose arrangement around cellulose. We show that hemicellulose branches of arabinose, glucuronic acid, and especially glucuronate strengthen the primary cell wall by strongly coordinating to hydrogen bond donor sites on the cellulose surface. We reveal molecular forces maintaining the cell wall structure and provide directions for genetic modulation of plants and pretreatment design to render biomass more amenable to processing. © 2013 American Chemical Society.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); Security and Disruptive Technologies
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21271817
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Record identifier53c180a0-1b08-4dbd-bc58-9205d669e901
Record created2014-04-22
Record modified2016-05-09
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