A Method for Studying Effects on Lignin-Polysaccharide Networks during Biological Degradation and Technical Processes of Wood

Ran Bi, Petri Oinonen, Yan Wang, Gunnar Henriksson


Woody tissues consist primarily of a mixture of cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin. Covalent bonds between lignin and polysaccharides likely play a central role in determining the mechanical and physical properties of wood. Intact and defined lignin-polysaccharide networks have not been isolated in large quantities because of the recalcitrance of lignin, which demands harsh chemical treatments that alter its structure. This report presents a method for preparing large quantities of lignin-polysaccharide networks similar to those naturally present in wood based on the enzymatic oxidation of hemicellulose from Norway spruce. Fungal enzymes produced from various carbon sources were used to depolymerize these networks. The method was used for simulating “enzyme mining” – a concept in biorefineries, giving a possible explanation for its mechanisms.


Lignin carbohydrate complexes; Wood; Model system; Biorefinery; Biodegradation

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022, hubbe@ncsu.edu; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, lucian.lucia@gmail.com URLs: bioresourcesjournal.com; http://ncsu.edu/bioresources ISSN: 1930-2126