Xylan is a complex polysaccharide that is commonly found in plant cell walls and also in some algae and is also one of the key sources of biomass along with cellulose. In this study, funded primarily by the United States Department of Energy (DOE), the technique of Ion Chromatography (IC) was used to identify a gene in rice plants whose suppression improves sugars to make biofuels.
The study, XAX1 from glycosyltransferase family 61 mediates xylosyltransfer to rice xylan (link to study; only the abstract is free) focused on grass xylan synthesis as the extraction of xylan from plant cell walls has been a challenging problem in the production of biofuels.
An informative and useful interview with the researchers (DOE Joint BioEnergy Institute [JBEI] and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) who conducted the study can be found on the Berkeley Lab website titled: A Better Route to Xylan.
Like what you are learning?
For our readers, we have several IC applications on the biofuels page on our website including:
- Application Note 282, Rapid and Sensitive Determination of Biofuel Sugars by Ion Chromatography (downloadable PDF)
- Application Note 270, Determination of Hydroxymethylfurfural in Honey and Biomass (downloadable PDF)
- Application Note 225, Rapid Method for the Estimation of Total Free Monosaccharide Content of Corn Stover Hydrolysate Using HPAE-PAD (downloadable PDF)
- Case Study: Ion Chromatographic Methods for Quality Assurance Testing of Chloride and Sulfate in Ethanol (downloadable PDF)
Our biofuels page includes covers many important topics on the development of biofuels including Biomass Extraction for Biofuels, Biomass Compositional Analysis for Biofuels, Saccharification Analysis for Biofuels, Fermentation Monitoring for Biofuels, Quality Assurance Analysis for Biofuels, Oilseed Extraction for Biofuels, and Lipid Profiling for Biofuels.
Let us know if you are looking for a specific topic or application not covered on our website or this blog by writing to us in the Comments box. We look forward to hearing from you.