Decker, S.R., R.W. Sykes, G.B. Turner, J.S. Lupoi, C. Doepkke, M.P. Tucker, L.A. Schuster, K. Mazza, M.E. Himmel, M.F. Davis, E. Gjersing, “High-throughput Screening of Recalcitrance Variations in Lignocellulosic Biomass: Total Lignin, Lignin Monomers, and Enzymatic Sugar Release”, Journal of Visualized Experiments, 15(103) e53163, September 2015. DOI:10.3791/53163
The conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fuels, chemicals, and other commodities has been explored as one possible pathway toward reductions in the use of non-renewable energy sources. In order to identify which plants, out of a diverse pool, have the desired chemical traits for downstream applications, attributes, such as cellulose and lignin content, or monomeric sugar release following an enzymatic saccharification, must be compared. The experimental and data analysis protocols of the standard methods of analysis can be time-consuming, thereby limiting the number of samples that can be measured. High-throughput (HTP) methods alleviate the shortcomings of the standard methods, and permit the rapid screening of available samples to isolate those possessing the desired traits. This study illustrates the HTP sugar release and pyrolysis-molecular beam mass spectrometry pipelines employed at the National Renewable Energy Lab. These pipelines have enabled the efficient assessment of thousands of plants while decreasing experimental time and costs through reductions in labor and consumables.
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