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Biodegradation of the hetero-1,4-linked xylans

Biodegradation of the hetero-1,4-linked xylans

ACS Symposium series American Chemical Society: 99) 619-629

The heteroxylans occur in the plant cell wall of terrestrial plants, and can be present to the extent of 35%, depending upon the plant species. They constitute a group of complex polysaccharides composed of a backbone chain of 1,4-beta-linked D-xylose residues to which are attached various appendages. These may be L-arabinose; D-glucuronic acid; various short oligosaccharide chains consisting of D-xylose, L-arabinose, galactose and D-glucuronic acid; O-acetyl groups; feruloyl and p-coumaroyl esters linked via L-arabinose residues; and benzyl ether groups as occur in lignin-carbohydrate complexes. The heteroxylans constitute a renewable feedstock from which many chemicals could be derived. This requires hydrolysis, and fermentation or transformation steps. While enzymes degrading the heteroxylan are known as xylanases, they also require the additional actions of beta-xylosidases, alpha-arabinosidases, alpha-glucuronidases and certain esterases for total hydrolysis. This chapter is concerned with their specificity in degrading their substrate. The biodegradative pathways of the heteroxylans are also discussed.

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Accession: 002036877

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