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Bi, R., Oinonen, P., Wang, Y., and Henriksson, G. (2016). "A method for studying effects on lignin-polysaccharide networks during biological degradation and technical processes of wood," BioRes. 11(1),1307-1318.

Abstract

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.
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