The influence of extensin cross-linking on biomass recalcitrance
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Plant cell walls are under investigation as a source for biofuel production, yet conversion of cell walls (biomass) into biofuel is currently too expensive to be competitive with gasoline. Biomass is recalcitrant; that is, it resists enzymatic degradation by cellulases into monosaccharides such as glucose. One source of recalcitrance may be the presence of extensins, covalently bound cell wall proteins that are extremely insoluble. To determine what influence, if any, extensins have on biomass recalcitrance, I performed several experiments. I first turned to poplar biomass, which is a model ...