Facilitated delignification in CAD deficient transgenic poplar studied by confocal Raman spectroscopy imaging

Jana S. Segmehl, Tobias Keplinger*, Artem Krasnobaev, John K. Berg, Christoph Willa, Ingo Burgert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Lignocellulosic biomass represents the only renewable carbon resource which is available in sufficient amounts to be considered as an alternative for our fossil-based carbon economy. However, an efficient biochemical conversion of lignocellulosic feedstocks is hindered by the natural recalcitrance of the biomass as a result of a dense network of cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin. These polymeric interconnections make a pretreatment of the biomass necessary in order to enhance the susceptibility of the polysaccharides. Here, we report on a detailed analysis of the favourable influence of genetic engineering for two common delignification protocols for lignocellulosic biomass, namely acidic bleaching and soda pulping, on the example of CAD deficient poplar. The altered lignin structure of the transgenic poplar results in a significantly accelerated and more complete lignin removal at lower temperatures and shorter reaction times compared to wildtype poplar. To monitor the induced chemical and structural alterations at the tissue level, confocal Raman spectroscopy imaging, FT-IR spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction were used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-184
JournalSpectrochimica Acta - Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2019


  • CAD deficient poplar
  • Cellulose conformational change
  • Facilitated delignification
  • Lignocellulosic biomass
  • Raman spectroscopy imaging
  • X-ray diffraction


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