Biomass Depolymerization programs

Chemical Imaging of Plant Biomass with Micro- and Nano-Raman Spectroscopy - Completed

The program sought to understand the three-dimensional structure of the plant cell wall using established and novel Raman imaging methods to generate a high-resolution (300nm, then 30nm) chemical map of plant cell walls from different sources. This helped researchers visualize the chemical and physical obstacles to breakdown, which can help improve pretreatment procedures and identify plant material that may naturally be better suited to use in such processes.

program Highlights

2010 Highlights

The group used experimental and chemometric methods to perform the first analysis of the green plant Arabidopsis. At the same time they developed new technology, based on plasmonic antennas, to perform Raman imaging at the nano-scale. They demonstrated that this can be used to image carbon nanotubes, a nano-structure, at high (< 30 nm) resolution.

2009 Highlights

The team used diffraction-limited Raman imaging to investigate the effect of mutations in lignin biosynthesis on the cell wall of poplar. With collaborators, they visualized the cellulose and lignin distribution in wood cell walls using chemical imaging with confocal Raman microscopy. Using transgenic suppression of a monolignol biosynthesis gene encoding 4-coumarate-CoA ligase (4CL), Adams’ team reduced lignin in wood. They compared lignification in wild type and lignin-reduced 4CL transgenic Populus trichocarpa stem wood with a sub-micron spatial resolution using Raman microscopy. Their findings suggest that this type of transgenic approach may help overcome cell wall recalcitrance to wood saccharification.



Published in 2011

Raman-Spectroscopy-Based Noninvasive Microanalysis of Native Lignin Structure, Pradeep Perera, Martin Schmidt, Vincent Chiang, James Schuck, Paul Adams, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, doi: 10.1007/s00216-011-5518-x, November 10, 2011.


Blind Image Analysis for the Compositional and Structural Characterization of Plant Cell Walls, Pradeep Perera, Martin Schmidt, James Schuck, Paul Adams, Analytica Chimica Acta, 702(2), pp. 172-177, doi:10.1016/j.aca.2011.06.021, September 30, 2011.

Published in 2010

Label-free in situ Imaging of Lignification in Plant Cell Walls, Martin Schmidt, Pradeep Perera, Adam Schwartzberg, Paul Adams, James Schuck, Journal of Visual Experiments, Vol. 45, DOI: 10.3791/2064, November 1, 2010.


Raman Imaging of Cell Wall Polymers in Arabidopsis thaliana , Martin Schmidt, Adam M. Schwartzberg, Andrew Carroll, Adisorn Chaibang, Paul D. Adams, P. James Schuck, Biochemical and Biopysical Research Communications, 395(4): 3, April 13, 2010.

Published in 2009

Label-Free in situ Imaging of Lignification in the Cell Wall of Low Lignin Transgenic Populus trichocarpa , M. Schmidt, A. M. Schwartzberg, P. N. Perera, A. Weber-Bargioni, A. Carroll, P. Sarkar, E. Bosneaga, J. J. Urban, J. Song, M. Y. Balakshin, E. A. Capanema, M. Auer, P. D. Adams, V. I. Chiang, P. James Schuck, Planta, 230(3): pp. 589-597, June 13, 2009.



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