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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Esterases Involved in the Biodegradation of Lignocellulosics

Authors
item Biely, Peter - SLOVAK ACAD OF SCIENCES
item Kremnicky, Lubomir - SLOVAK ACAD OF SCIENCES
item Mastihuba, Vladimir - SLOVAK UNIV OF TECHNOL
item Cote, Gregory

Submitted to: Annual Meeting of the Bio Environmentally Degradable Polymer Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: The enzymatic degradation of lignocellulosic materials is of extreme interest in the field of polymer degradation. Although most of the attention seems to focus on the role of cellulases and other polysaccharases, these are not the only enzymes involved in lignocellulose biodegradation. Most plant cell walls consist of a complicated matrix of cellulose, hemicelluloses, and other polymers crosslinked to lignin, typically through ester linkages. Most of these ester linkages occur within hemicellulosic polymers. Notable among these are pectins, xylans, and galactoglucomannans, which seldom exist in nature in the unesterified form. In order to obtain complete breakdown of cell wall materials, degradative microorganisms use a variety of esterases. This presentation will give a brief overview of some of these enzymes, involved in cell wall degradation, and highlight part of the current research in this field. We will focus mainly on two groups of esterases - acetylxylan esterases, hydrolyzing acetyl groups from acetyl xylans, and feruloyl and cinnamoyl esterases, which hydrolyze aromatic esters involved in lignin-hemicellulose crosslinking. We will describe their properties, methodology, and potential utility.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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