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    There are several methods to isolate near-native lignins, including milled-wood lignin, enzymatic lignin, cellulolytic enzyme lignin, and enzymatic mild-acidolysis lignin. Which one is the most representative of the native lignin? Herein, near-native lignins were isolated from different plant groups and structurally analyzed to determine how well these lignins represented their native lignin counterparts. Analytical methods were applied to understand the molecular weight, monomer composition, and distribution of interunit linkages in the structure of the lignins. The results indicated that either enzymatic lignin or cellulolytic enzyme lignin may be used to represent native lignin in softwoods and hardwoods. None of the lignins, however, appeared to represent native lignins in grasses (monocot plants) because of substantial syringyl/guaiacyl differences. Complicating the understanding of grass lignin structure, large amounts of hydroxycinnamates acylate their polysaccharides and, when released, are often conflated with actual lignin monomers.


    Mingjie Chen, John Ralph, Jeremy S Luterbacher, Qing-Shan Shi, Xiaobao Xie. Selecting Suitable Near-Native Lignins for Research. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry. 2023 Dec 27;71(51):20751-20761

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    PMID: 38065961

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