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Development of an oligosaccharide library to characterise the structural variation in glucuronoarabinoxylan in the cell walls of vegetative tissues in grasses.

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Tryfona, Theodora 
Sorieul, Mathias 
Feijao, Carolina 
Stott, Katherine 
Rubtsov, Denis V 


BACKGROUND: Grass glucuronoarabinoxylan (GAX) substitutions can inhibit enzymatic degradation and are involved in the interaction of xylan with cell wall cellulose and lignin, factors which contribute to the recalcitrance of biomass to saccharification. Therefore, identification of xylan characteristics central to biomass biorefining improvement is essential. However, the task of assessing biomass quality is complicated and is often hindered by the lack of a reference for a given crop. RESULTS: In this study, we created a reference library, expressed in glucose units, of Miscanthus sinensis GAX stem and leaf oligosaccharides, using DNA sequencer-Assisted Saccharide analysis in high throughput (DASH), supported by liquid chromatography (LC), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry (MS). Our analysis of a number of grass species highlighted variations in substitution type and frequency of stem and leaf GAX. In miscanthus, for example, the β-Xylp-(1 → 2)-α-Araf-(1 → 3) side chain is more abundant in leaf than stem. CONCLUSIONS: The reference library allows fast identification and comparison of GAX structures from different plants and tissues. Ultimately, this reference library can be used in directing biomass selection and improving biorefining.



Bioenergy, DASH, Grass xylan, Species variation, Tissue variation, Xylan branching

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Biotechnol Biofuels

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC


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Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/K005537/1)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/G016216/1)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/G016240/1)
European Commission (251132)