Lignin-polysaccharide interactions in plant secondary cell walls revealed by solid-state NMR

Xue Kang, Alex Kirui, Malitha C. Dickwella Widanage, Frederic Mentink-Vigier, Daniel J. Cosgrove, Tuo Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Lignin is a complex aromatic biopolymer that strengthens and waterproofs plant secondary cell walls, enabling mechanical stability in trees and long-distance water transport in xylem. Lignin removal is a key step in paper production and biomass conversion to biofuels, motivating efforts to re-engineer lignin biosynthesis. However, the physical nature of lignin’s interactions with wall polysaccharides is not well understood. Here we show that lignin self-aggregates to form highly hydrophobic and dynamically unique nanodomains, with extensive surface contacts to xylan. Solid-state NMR spectroscopy of intact maize stems, supported by dynamic nuclear polarization, reveals that lignin has abundant electrostatic interactions with the polar motifs of xylan. Lignin preferentially binds xylans with 3-fold or distorted 2-fold helical screw conformations, indicative of xylans not closely associated with cellulose. These findings advance our knowledge of the molecular-level organization of lignocellulosic biomass, providing the structural foundation for optimization of post-harvest processing for biofuels and biomaterials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number347
JournalNature communications
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Fingerprint

lignin
Lignin
polysaccharides
Plant Cells
Cell Wall
Polysaccharides
Xylans
Cells
Nuclear magnetic resonance
solid state
nuclear magnetic resonance
interactions
Biofuels
biomass
Biomass
Xylem
Biopolymers
biosynthesis
Mechanical stability
biopolymers

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Kang, Xue ; Kirui, Alex ; Dickwella Widanage, Malitha C. ; Mentink-Vigier, Frederic ; Cosgrove, Daniel J. ; Wang, Tuo. / Lignin-polysaccharide interactions in plant secondary cell walls revealed by solid-state NMR. In: Nature communications. 2019 ; Vol. 10, No. 1.
@article{c55a446e88be4c7eab0e93f3d140ad04,
title = "Lignin-polysaccharide interactions in plant secondary cell walls revealed by solid-state NMR",
abstract = "Lignin is a complex aromatic biopolymer that strengthens and waterproofs plant secondary cell walls, enabling mechanical stability in trees and long-distance water transport in xylem. Lignin removal is a key step in paper production and biomass conversion to biofuels, motivating efforts to re-engineer lignin biosynthesis. However, the physical nature of lignin’s interactions with wall polysaccharides is not well understood. Here we show that lignin self-aggregates to form highly hydrophobic and dynamically unique nanodomains, with extensive surface contacts to xylan. Solid-state NMR spectroscopy of intact maize stems, supported by dynamic nuclear polarization, reveals that lignin has abundant electrostatic interactions with the polar motifs of xylan. Lignin preferentially binds xylans with 3-fold or distorted 2-fold helical screw conformations, indicative of xylans not closely associated with cellulose. These findings advance our knowledge of the molecular-level organization of lignocellulosic biomass, providing the structural foundation for optimization of post-harvest processing for biofuels and biomaterials.",
author = "Xue Kang and Alex Kirui and {Dickwella Widanage}, {Malitha C.} and Frederic Mentink-Vigier and Cosgrove, {Daniel J.} and Tuo Wang",
year = "2019",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1038/s41467-018-08252-0",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "10",
journal = "Nature Communications",
issn = "2041-1723",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
number = "1",

}

Lignin-polysaccharide interactions in plant secondary cell walls revealed by solid-state NMR. / Kang, Xue; Kirui, Alex; Dickwella Widanage, Malitha C.; Mentink-Vigier, Frederic; Cosgrove, Daniel J.; Wang, Tuo.

In: Nature communications, Vol. 10, No. 1, 347, 01.12.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Lignin-polysaccharide interactions in plant secondary cell walls revealed by solid-state NMR

AU - Kang, Xue

AU - Kirui, Alex

AU - Dickwella Widanage, Malitha C.

AU - Mentink-Vigier, Frederic

AU - Cosgrove, Daniel J.

AU - Wang, Tuo

PY - 2019/12/1

Y1 - 2019/12/1

N2 - Lignin is a complex aromatic biopolymer that strengthens and waterproofs plant secondary cell walls, enabling mechanical stability in trees and long-distance water transport in xylem. Lignin removal is a key step in paper production and biomass conversion to biofuels, motivating efforts to re-engineer lignin biosynthesis. However, the physical nature of lignin’s interactions with wall polysaccharides is not well understood. Here we show that lignin self-aggregates to form highly hydrophobic and dynamically unique nanodomains, with extensive surface contacts to xylan. Solid-state NMR spectroscopy of intact maize stems, supported by dynamic nuclear polarization, reveals that lignin has abundant electrostatic interactions with the polar motifs of xylan. Lignin preferentially binds xylans with 3-fold or distorted 2-fold helical screw conformations, indicative of xylans not closely associated with cellulose. These findings advance our knowledge of the molecular-level organization of lignocellulosic biomass, providing the structural foundation for optimization of post-harvest processing for biofuels and biomaterials.

AB - Lignin is a complex aromatic biopolymer that strengthens and waterproofs plant secondary cell walls, enabling mechanical stability in trees and long-distance water transport in xylem. Lignin removal is a key step in paper production and biomass conversion to biofuels, motivating efforts to re-engineer lignin biosynthesis. However, the physical nature of lignin’s interactions with wall polysaccharides is not well understood. Here we show that lignin self-aggregates to form highly hydrophobic and dynamically unique nanodomains, with extensive surface contacts to xylan. Solid-state NMR spectroscopy of intact maize stems, supported by dynamic nuclear polarization, reveals that lignin has abundant electrostatic interactions with the polar motifs of xylan. Lignin preferentially binds xylans with 3-fold or distorted 2-fold helical screw conformations, indicative of xylans not closely associated with cellulose. These findings advance our knowledge of the molecular-level organization of lignocellulosic biomass, providing the structural foundation for optimization of post-harvest processing for biofuels and biomaterials.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85060193812&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85060193812&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/s41467-018-08252-0

DO - 10.1038/s41467-018-08252-0

M3 - Article

C2 - 30664653

AN - SCOPUS:85060193812

VL - 10

JO - Nature Communications

JF - Nature Communications

SN - 2041-1723

IS - 1

M1 - 347

ER -