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Improved analysis of arabinoxylan-bound hydroxycinnamate conjugates in grass cell walls

Abstract : Background: Arabinoxylan in grass cell walls is acylated to varying extents by ferulate and p-coumarate at the 5-hydroxy position of arabinosyl residues branching off the xylan backbone. Some of these hydroxycinnamate units may then become involved in cell wall radical coupling reactions, resulting in ether and other linkages amongst themselves or to monolignols or oligolignols, thereby crosslinking arabinoxylan chains with each other and/or with lignin polymers. This crosslinking is assumed to increase the strength of the cell wall, and impedes the utilization of grass biomass in natural and industrial processes. A method for quantifying the degree of acylation in various grass tissues is, therefore, essential. We sought to reduce the incidence of hydroxycinnamate ester hydrolysis in our recently introduced method by utilizing more anhydrous conditions. Results: The improved methanolysis method minimizes the undesirable ester-cleavage of arabinose from ferulate and p-coumarate esters, and from diferulate dehydrodimers, and produces more methanolysis vs. hydrolysis of xylanarabinosides, improving the yields of the desired feruloylated and p-coumaroylated methyl arabinosides and their diferulate analogs. Free ferulate and p-coumarate produced by ester-cleavage were reduced by 78% and 68%, respectively, and 21% and 39% more feruloyl and p-coumaroyl methyl arabinosides were detected in the more anhydrous method. The new protocol resulted in an estimated 56% less combined diferulate isomers in which only one acylated arabinosyl unit remained, and 170% more combined diferulate isomers conjugated to two arabinosyl units. Conclusions: Overall, the new protocol for mild acidolysis of grass cell walls is both recovering more ferulate-and p-coumarate-arabinose conjugates from the arabinoxylan and cleaving less of them down to free ferulic acid, p-coumaric acid, and dehydrodiferulates with just one arabinosyl ester. This cleaner method, especially when coupled with the orthogonal method for measuring monolignol hydroxycinnamate conjugates that have been incorporated into lignin, provides an enhanced tool to measure the extent of crosslinking in grass arabinoxylan chains, assisting in identification of useful grasses for biomass applications.
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https://hal-agroparistech.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03083492
Contributor : Catherine Lapierre <>
Submitted on : Saturday, December 19, 2020 - 10:12:42 AM
Last modification on : Monday, January 11, 2021 - 3:55:27 PM

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Alexis Eugene, Catherine Lapierre, John Ralph. Improved analysis of arabinoxylan-bound hydroxycinnamate conjugates in grass cell walls. Biotechnology for Biofuels, BioMed Central, 2020, 13, ⟨10.1186/s13068-020-01841-6⟩. ⟨hal-03083492⟩

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