Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 124–129 | Cite as

Enzymatic accessibility of xylans in lignocellulosic materials

  • Liisa Viikari
  • Anne Kantelinen
  • Johanna Buchert
  • Jürgen Puls
Environmental Biotechnology


The hydrolysis of fibre-bound and isolated xylans from both birch and pine wood and kraft pulps was studied using purified xylanolytic enzymes of Trichoderma reesei. Despite high enzyme loading, the degree of hydrolysis of fibre-bound substrates did not exceed 20% of the theoretical value, apparently due to limited accessibility of the substrates. The fibre-bound xylans were as equally accessible in softwood as in hardwood pulps. The isolated xylans of wood and kraft pulps could be solubilized more extensively, with a hydrolysis yield of 50–65%. The substitution degree of the isolated xylan substrates was reflected in the different hydrolysis yields obtained by the two xylanases, with isoelectric point (pI) values of 9.0 and 5.5. On the more substituted substrates, i.e. pine kraft xylan and pine wood xylan, the two enzymes acted almost similarly, whereas on the less substituted xylan substrates, such as isolated birch kraft xylan, the pI-9.0 enzyme was more efficient. The side-group-cleaving enzymes increased only moderately the solubilization of the substrates.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Axelsson S, Croon I, Enström B (1962) Dissolution of hemicelluloses during sulphate pulping. Svensk Papperstidn 65:693–697Google Scholar
  2. Biely P (1985) Microbial xylanolytic systems. Trends Biotechnol 11:286–290Google Scholar
  3. Bouveng HO (1961) Phenylisocyanate derivatives of carbohydrates. II Location of the O-acetyl groups in birch xylan. Acta Chem Scand 15:96–100Google Scholar
  4. Buchert J, Siika-aho M, Bailey M, Puls J, Valkeajärvi A, Pere J, Viikari L (1993) Quantitative determination of wood-derived soluble oligosaccharides by HPLC. Biotechnol Tech 7:785–790Google Scholar
  5. Croon I, Enström BF (1963) The 4-O-Methyl-d-glucuronic acid groups of birch xylan during sulfate pulping. TAPPI 44:870–874Google Scholar
  6. Ebringerova A, Kramav A, Rendos F, Domansky R (1967) Die Stufenextraktion der Hemicellulosen aus dem Holz der Hagebuche (Carpinus betulus L.). Holzforschung 21:74–77Google Scholar
  7. Grethlein HE (1985) The effect of pore size distribution on the rate of enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulosic substrates. Bio/Technology 3:155–160Google Scholar
  8. Kantelinen A, Rättö M, Sundquist J, Ranua M, Viikari L, Linko M (1988) Hemicellulases and their potential role in bleaching. Proc 1988 Int Pulp Bleaching Conf, April 1988, Atlanta, pp 1–9Google Scholar
  9. Kantelinen A, Sundquist J, Linko M, Viikari L (1991) The role of reprecipitated xylan in the enzymatic bleaching of kraft pulp. Proc. 6th International Symposium on Wood and Pulping Chemistry, Melbourne, Vol I, pp 493–500Google Scholar
  10. Kantelinen A, Hortling B, Sundquist J, Linko M, Viikari L (1993) Proposed mechanism of the enzymatic bleaching of kraft pulp with xylanases. Holzforchung 47:318–324Google Scholar
  11. Körner HU, Gottschalk D, Wiegel J, Puls J (1984) The degradation pattern of oligomers and polymers from lignocellulose. Anal Chim Acta 163:55–66Google Scholar
  12. Lindberg B, Rosell K-G, Svensson S (1973) Positions of the O-acetyl groups in birch xylan. Svensk Papperstidn 76:30–32Google Scholar
  13. Poutanen K (1988a) Characterization of xylanolytic enzymes for potential applications. Publication 47, Technical Research Centre of Finland, EspooGoogle Scholar
  14. Poutanen K (1988b) An α-arabinofuranosidase of Trichoderma reesei. J Biotechnol 7:271–282Google Scholar
  15. Poutanen K, Puls J (1988) Characteristics of Trichoderma reesei β-xylosidase and its use in the hydrolysis of solubilized xylans. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 28:425–432Google Scholar
  16. Poutanen K, Puls J (1989) The xylanolytic enzyme system of Trichoderma reesei. In: Lewis G, Paice M (eds) Plant cell wall polymers. Biogenesis and biodegradation of plant cell wall polymers. American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C., pp 630–640Google Scholar
  17. Poutanen K, Sundberg M, Korte H, Puls J (1990) Deacetylation of xylans by acetyl estarases of Trichoderma reesei. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 33:506–510Google Scholar
  18. Puls J (1993) Substrate analysis of forest and agricultural wastes. In: Saddler J (ed) Bioconversion of forest and agricultural wastes. CAB International, Oxon, UK, pp 13–32Google Scholar
  19. Puls J, Poutanen K (1989) Mechanisms of enzymatic hydrolysis of hemicelluloses (xylans) and procedures for determination of the enzyme activities involved. In: Coughlan MP (ed) Enzyme systems for lignocellulose degradation. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 151–165Google Scholar
  20. Puls J, Poutanen K, Körner H-U, Viikari L (1985) Biotechnical utilization of wood carbohydrates after steaming pretreatment. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 22:416–423Google Scholar
  21. Sjöström E (1977) On the behaviour of wood polysaccharides during alkaline pulping processes. TAPPI 60:151–154Google Scholar
  22. Stone JE, Scallan AM (1968) The effect of component removal upon the porous structure of the cell wall of wood. Part III. A comparison between the sulphite and kraft processes. Pulp Paper Mag Can 6:288–293Google Scholar
  23. Stone JE, Scallan AM, Donefer E, Ahlgren E (1969) Digestibility as a simple function of a molecular of a similar size to a cellulase enzyme. Adv Chem Ser 95:219–241Google Scholar
  24. Sundberg M, Poutanen K (1991) Purification and properties of two acetyl xylan esterases of Trichoderma reesei. Biotechnol Appl Biochem 13:1–11Google Scholar
  25. Tenkanen M, Schuseil J, Puls J, Poutanen K (1991) Production, purification and characterization of an esterase liberating phenolic acids from lignocellulosics. J Biotechnol 18:69–84Google Scholar
  26. Tenkanen M, Puls K, Poutanen K (1992a) The two major xylanases of Trichoderma reesei. Enzyme Microbiol Technol 14:566–574Google Scholar
  27. Tenkanen M, Buchert J, Puls J, Poutanen K, Viikari L (1992b) Two main xylanase of Trichoderma reesei and their use in pulp processing. In: Visser J, Beldman G, Kusters van Someren MA, Voragen AGJ (eds) Xylans and xylanases. Progress in biotechnology, vol 7. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 547–550Google Scholar
  28. Viikari L, Kantelinen A, Rättö M, Sundquist J (1991a) Enzymes in pulp and paper processing. ACS Symp Ser 460:12–22Google Scholar
  29. Viikari L, Sundquist J, Kettunen J (1991b) Xylanase enzymes promote pulp bleaching. Paper Timber 73:384–389Google Scholar
  30. Viikari L, Tenkanen M, Buchert J, Rättö M, Bailey M, Siika-aho M, Linko M (1993) Hemicellulases for industrial applications. In: Saddler J (ed) Bioconversion of forest and agricultural wastes. CAB International, Oxon, UK, pp 131–182Google Scholar
  31. Wong KKY, Deverell KF, Mackie KL, Clark TA, Donaldson LA (1988) The relationship betwen fiber porosity and cellulose digestibility in steam-exploded Pinus radiata. Biotechnol Bioeng 31:447–456Google Scholar
  32. Yllner S, Österberg K, Stockman L (1957) A study of the removal of the constituents of pine wood in the sulphate process using a continuous liquor flow method. Svensk Papperstidn 60:795–802Google Scholar
  33. Zinbo M, Timell TE (1965) The degree of branching of hardwood xylans. Svensk Papperstidn 68:647–662Google Scholar
  34. Zinbo M, Timell TE (1967) Studies on a native xylan from Norway sprue (Picea abies) 1. Isolation and constitution. Svensk Papperstidn 70:695–701Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liisa Viikari
    • 1
  • Anne Kantelinen
    • 1
  • Johanna Buchert
    • 1
  • Jürgen Puls
    • 2
  1. 1.VTT Biotechnical LaboratoryEspooFinland
  2. 2.Federal Research Centre for Forestry and Forest ProductsInstitute of Wood Chemistry and Chemical Technology of WoodHamburgGermany

Personalised recommendations