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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Plant Biomass Recalcitrance: Effect of Hemicellulose Composition on Nanoscale Forces that Control Cell Wall Strength

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Silveira, Rodrigo L. [1, 2] ; Stoyanov, Stanislav R. [2, 3] ; Gusarov, Sergey [2] ; Skaf, Munir S. [1] ; Kovalenko, Andriy [2, 4]
Total Authors: 5
[1] Univ Estadual Campinas, Inst Chem, Sao Paulo - Brazil
[2] Natl Inst Nanotechnol, Edmonton, AB T6G 2M9 - Canada
[3] Univ Alberta, Dept Chem & Mat Engn, Edmonton, AB T6G 2V4 - Canada
[4] Univ Alberta, Dept Mech Engn, Edmonton, AB T6G 2G8 - Canada
Total Affiliations: 4
Document type: Journal article
Source: Journal of the American Chemical Society; v. 135, n. 51, p. 19048-19051, DEC 25 2013.
Web of Science Citations: 51

Efficient 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. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 13/08293-7 - CCES - Center for Computational Engineering and Sciences
Grantee:Munir Salomao Skaf
Support type: Research Grants - Research, Innovation and Dissemination Centers - RIDC