Plant cell wall hydrolysis process reveals structure–activity relationships

Yanan Zhang, Shengnan Xu, Fan Ji, Yubing Hu, Zhongwei Gu, Bingqian Xu
2020 Plant Methods  
Background Recent interest in Populus as a source of renewable energy, combined with its numerous available pretreatment methods, has enabled further research on structural modification and hydrolysis. To improve the biodegradation efficiency of biomass, a better understanding of the relationship between its macroscopic structures and enzymatic process is important. Results This study investigated mutant cell wall structures compared with wild type on a molecular level. Furthermore, a novel
more » ... ght into the structural dynamics occurring on mutant biomass was assessed in situ and in real time by functional Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) imaging. High-resolution AFM images confirmed that genetic pretreatment effectively inhibited the production of irregular lignin. The average roughness values of the wild type are 78, 60, and 30 nm which are much higher than that of the mutant cell wall, approximately 10 nm. It is shown that the action of endoglucanases would expose pure crystalline cellulose with more cracks for easier hydrolysis by cellobiohydrolase I (CBHI). Throughout the entire CBHI hydrolytic process, when the average roughness exceeded 3 nm, the hydrolysis mode consisted of a peeling action. Conclusion Functional AFM imaging is helpful for biomass structural characterization. In addition, the visualization of the enzymatic hydrolysis process will be useful to explore the cell wall structure–activity relationships.
doi:10.1186/s13007-020-00691-5 pmid:33292382 fatcat:r43nderqzvhjrmi3hxwklurpka