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Susceptibility of pretreated wood sections of Norway spruce (Picea abies) clones to enzymatic hydrolysis

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Abstract:

The structure of softwoods, which confers resistance to degradation through hydrolysis and decay, currently limits their use for the production of biofuels. However, since wood is very heterogeneous, it is possible that differences in wood properties within and between trees could differentially affect its processability. In this research, heartwood (inner) and sapwood (outer) from Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) clones were enzymatically hydrolyzed by Trichoderma viride cellulases after concentrated acid pretreatment. Wood sections with two particle sizes were compared based on their susceptibility to enzymatic hydrolysis, evaluated by assaying the formation of hydrolysis products and measured as reducing sugar yield (RSY). We also studied the relationship between RSY and the susceptibility to Heterobasidion parviporum wood decay and whether these traits are reflected in wood density and yield. Wood from the outer section produced more RSY with higher glucan but lower lignin content than wood from the inner section. Furthermore, susceptibility to enzymatic hydrolysis was positively correlated with H. parviporum wood decay, while both processes were negatively correlated with wood density. Our results revealed the importance of clonal trials for identifying suitable lignocellulosic biomass when considering wood properties and indicate that potential genotypes for the production of biofuels are not necessarily the most productive.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/x11-154

Affiliations: 1: School of Forest Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 111, 80101 Joensuu, Finland. 2: Department of Biotechnology and Chemical Technology, Aalto University, P.O. Box 16100, 00076 Aalto, Finland. 3: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, P.O. Box 1000, 02044 Espoo, Finland. 4: Department of Chemistry, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 111, 80101 Joensuu, Finland. 5: Division of Plant Biology, Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 65, 00014 Helsinki, Finland.

Publication date: January 30, 2012

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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