Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 402, Issue 2, pp 983–987 | Cite as

Raman-spectroscopy-based noninvasive microanalysis of native lignin structure

  • Pradeep N. PereraEmail author
  • Martin Schmidt
  • Vincent L. Chiang
  • P. James Schuck
  • Paul D. Adams
Technical Note


A new robust, noninvasive, Raman microspectroscopic method is introduced to analyze the structure of native lignin. Lignin spectra of poplar, Arabidopsis, and Miscanthus were recovered and structural differences were unambiguously detected. Compositional analysis of 4-coumarate-CoA ligase suppressed transgenic poplar showed that the syringyl-to-guaiacyl ratio decreased by 35% upon the mutation. A cell-specific compositional analysis of basal stems of Arabidopsis showed similar distributions of S and G monolignols in xylary fiber cells and interfascicular cells.


Estimated Raman spectra of lignin of Arabidopsis (blue), poplar (red), and Miscanthus (black) with spectral entropy minimization. Raman peaks of Guaiacial (G), Syringyl (S) and Hydroxyphenyl (H) units are indicated.


Lignin Entropy minimization Chemometrics Cell wall Monolignol Raman 



We thank Andrew Carroll for providing Arabidopsis samples, Purbasha Sarkar for providing Miscanthus samples, and Lan Sun and Stefan Bauer for assistance with extracting lignin from Miscanthus. This work was supported by the Energy Biosciences Institute, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Work at the Molecular Foundry was supported by the Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the US Department of Energy under contract no. DE-AC02-05CH1123. The work on transgenic Populus trichocarpa was supported by a grant from the National Research Initiative of the USDA CSREES #2006-35504-17233 to V.L.C.

Supplementary material

216_2011_5518_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (747 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 746 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag (outside the USA) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pradeep N. Perera
    • 1
    Email author
  • Martin Schmidt
    • 1
  • Vincent L. Chiang
    • 2
  • P. James Schuck
    • 3
  • Paul D. Adams
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Energy Biosciences InstituteUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Forest Biotechnology Group, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, College of Natural ResourcesNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  3. 3.Molecular FoundryLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA
  4. 4.Physical Biosciences DivisionLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA
  5. 5.Department of BioengineeringUniversity of California BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

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