EMAIL THIS PAGE TO A FRIEND

Biotechnology for biofuels

Aspen pectate lyase PtxtPL1-27 mobilizes matrix polysaccharides from woody tissues and improves saccharification yield.


PMID 24450583

Abstract

Wood cell walls are rich in cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Hence, they are important sources of renewable biomass for producing energy and green chemicals. However, extracting desired constituents from wood efficiently poses significant challenges because these polymers are highly cross-linked in cell walls and are not easily accessible to enzymes and chemicals. We show that aspen pectate lyase PL1-27, which degrades homogalacturonan and is expressed at the onset of secondary wall formation, can increase the solubility of wood matrix polysaccharides. Overexpression of this enzyme in aspen increased solubility of not only pectins but also xylans and other hemicelluloses, indicating that homogalacturonan limits the solubility of major wood cell wall components. Enzymatic saccharification of wood obtained from PL1-27-overexpressing trees gave higher yields of pentoses and hexoses than similar treatment of wood from wild-type trees, even after acid pretreatment. Thus, the modification of pectins may constitute an important biotechnological target for improved wood processing despite their low abundance in woody biomass.

Related Materials