Chemical characterisation and analysis of the cell wall polysaccharides of duckweed (Lemna minor)

X Zhao, G K Moates, N Wellner, S R A Collins, M J Coleman, K W Waldron

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Duckweed is potentially an ideal biofuel feedstock due to its high proportion of cellulose and starch and low lignin content. However, there is little detailed information on the composition and structure of duckweed cell walls relevant to optimising the conversion of duckweed biomass to ethanol and other biorefinery products. This study reports that, for the variety and batch evaluated, carbohydrates constitute 51.2% (w/w) of dry matter while starch accounts for 19.9%. This study, for the first time, analyses duckweed cell wall composition through a detailed sequential extraction. The cell wall is rich in cellulose and also contains 20.3% pectin comprising galacturonan, xylogalacturonan, rhamnogalacturonan; 3.5% hemicellulose comprising xyloglucan and xylan, and 0.03% phenolics. In addition, essential fatty acids (0.6%, α-linolenic and linoleic/linoelaidic acid) and p-coumaric acid (0.015%) respectively are the most abundant fatty acids and phenolics in whole duckweed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-418
Number of pages9
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2014

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