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Analytical Methods in Plant Biomass Characterization and Valorization


Drs. Breeanna Urbanowicz, Maria Peña, and William Barnes New Content Itemof the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center at the University of Georgia are guest editing a series for Biotechnology for Biofuels, and we would like to extend an invitation to submit to a thematic series on the topic of “Analytical Methods in Plant Biomass Characterization and Valorization.”

The importance of plant biomass in the emerging bioeconomy cannot be understated, as it is a highly-abundant renewable resource that is the foundation for the production of second-generation biofuels, chemicals, and novel materials. Plant cell walls play an economically-relevant and ubiquitous role in almost every aspect of life, but we still lack a comprehensive understanding of cell wall structure and organization. Furthermore, understanding how plants synthesize, modify, and degrade their cell walls throughout development is crucial for genetic engineering and targeted genomics efforts focused on designing high-yielding, stress-tolerant crops. In order to advance our society beyond the limitations imposed by fossil-derived feedstocks, we must exploit the valorization potential of renewable plant feedstocks, including lignins, oils, and other carbon-rich compounds. To achieve these goals, there is an increasing need to understand biomass structure and properties.

In this special series of Biotechnology for Biofuels, we aim to explore methods for the characterization and utilization of these energy-rich and renewable resources to inform future efforts toward increasing plant productivity and biomass valorization. The following broad topics will be considered, including (but not limited to):

Traditional and innovative analytical methods for information-rich biomass characterization Microscopic and scattering techniques to analyze plant cell wall properties High-throughput approaches for chemotyping (chemical phenotyping) bioenergy crops Innovative technologies that use mathematical approaches to model biomass structure, especially as it changes during chemical or enzymatic deconstruction.

We will consider basic and/or applied studies that highlight the application of low-, medium-, and high-throughput techniques relevant to plant cell wall and biomass characterization and valorization. We are open to discussion of potential topics as outlined above and beyond. Biotechnology for Biofuels is published by BMC, part of Springer Nature. The journal is fully open access, ensuring that your submission will be easily accessible and widely read. All submissions will be subject to peer review. Full submission guidelines, including information on the publication costs and the different article types, can be found here.

Please do let us know if you would be interested in contributing to the series, and of course if you have any queries. We look forward to your response.

Submission deadline: 16 November 2020. Please indicate at the Additional Information stage of submission that you are submitting to the “Analytical Methods in Plant Biomass Characterization and Valorization” article collection.

Articles will be published continuously in the main journal and highlighted on this collection homepage as soon as they are ready.

  1. Biomass composition varies from plant to plant and greatly affects biomass utilization. Lignin is a heterogeneous phenolic polymer derived mainly from p-coumaryl, coniferyl, and sinapyl alcohols and makes up to 1...

    Authors: Fang Chen, Chunliu Zhuo, Xirong Xiao, Thomas H. Pendergast and Katrien M. Devos

    Citation: Biotechnology for Biofuels 2021 14:18

    Content type: Methodology

    Published on:

  2. The production of biofuels as an efficient source of renewable energy has received considerable attention due to increasing energy demands and regulatory incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Second-g...

    Authors: Jeffrey P. Tingley, Kristin E. Low, Xiaohui Xing and D. Wade Abbott

    Citation: Biotechnology for Biofuels 2021 14:16

    Content type: Review

    Published on:

  3. Multidimensional solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (ssNMR) spectroscopy has emerged as an indispensable technique for resolving polymer structure and intermolecular packing in primary and secondary plant ...

    Authors: Wancheng Zhao, Alex Kirui, Fabien Deligey, Frederic Mentink-Vigier, Yihua Zhou, Baocai Zhang and Tuo Wang

    Citation: Biotechnology for Biofuels 2021 14:14

    Content type: Methodology

    Published on:

  4. The recalcitrance of lignocellulosics to enzymatic saccharification has been related to many factors, including the tissue and molecular heterogeneity of the plant particles. The role of tissue heterogeneity g...

    Authors: Cécile Barron, Marie-Françoise Devaux, Loïc Foucat, Xavier Falourd, Rachelle Looten, Maud Joseph-Aime, Sylvie Durand, Estelle Bonnin, Catherine Lapierre, Luc Saulnier, Xavier Rouau and Fabienne Guillon

    Citation: Biotechnology for Biofuels 2021 14:1

    Content type: Research

    Published on: