Bookmark Us
All Food, Diet and Health News 
 Misc. News
 Must-Read News
 Letter to Editor
 Featured Products
 Recalls & Alerts
 Consumer Affair
 Non-food Things
 Health Tips
 Interesting Sites
 Diet & Health
 Heart & Blood
 Body Weight
 Children & Women
 General Health
 Food & Health
 Food Chemicals
 Biological Agents
 Cooking & Packing
 Agri. & Environ.
 Laws & Politics
 General Health
 Drug News
 Mental Health
 Infectious Disease
 Other News
 Food Consumer
 FC News & Others

Search Foodconsumer & Others

Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo
Newsfeed news feed
Su bmit news[release]

More than 100 credit cards available at from, you can pick more than 100 credit cards

Food & Health : Technologies Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

Modified Lignin Has Potential Benefits for Ethanol, Paper and Feed
By Laura McGinnis
Dec 9, 2008 - 12:30:22 PM

E.mail t.his a.rticle
 P.rinter f.riendly p.age
Get n.ewsletter
Cellulose is a key component of plant cell walls that can be converted into ethanol and other products. New findings from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) could help make that conversion process easier.

Plant walls contain cellulose, the main component of paper and a source of sugars for ethanol production. Cellulose could be described as the "brick" of the cell wall, while pectin, hemicellulose and lignin function like mortar, cementing everything together.

Lignin is vital for plant survival, but its structure impedes cellulose conversion. But what if lignin were altered so that it would break down easier, thus facilitating the production of paper, ethanol and other industrial products?

That's the goal of ARS scientists at the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center in Madison, Wis. There, research agronomist John Grabber--working with ARS plant physiologist Ronald Hatfield, Fachuang Lu of the University of Wisconsin, and John Ralph, formerly with ARS and now at the University of Wisconsin--has designed lignin that breaks down more easily.

Grabber and his colleagues first tested the effects of changing the cell walls in a laboratory--before applying those changes to live plants--by incorporating a chemical compound called coniferyl ferulate into lignin formed within cell walls. First, they synthesized the compound in the lab and added it to cell walls isolated from corn. Then they subjected the cell walls to alkaline treatments, which are commonly used to degrade lignin.

The altered lignin broke down more readily than conventional lignin under mild alkaline conditions, demonstrating the potential for this modification to facilitate cellulose use.

Further research showed that incorporating other molecules such as feruloyl and caffeoylquinic acid into lignin could also enhance cellulose utilization. Hatfield, Ralph and ARS geneticist Jane Marita at Madison are now leading efforts to engineer plants to make lignin with coniferyl ferulate.

This work has potential benefits not just for paper and ethanol production, but also for livestock production. Modified lignin could make fibrous crops more digestible, allowing producers to feed more forage crops and less grain to their livestock.

ARS is a scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Laura McGinnis, (301) 504-1654, [email protected]
December 9, 2008
--View this report online, plus photos and related stories, at

© 2004-2008 by unless otherwise specified

Top of Page


Search Consumer-friendly Health Sites

We have moved to Food Consumer . Org

disclaimer | advertising | jobs | privacy | about us | newsletter | Submit news/articles
link partners: | Buy Viagra | |
Buy a home | Auto Insurance | Mortgage refinancing | | Take Your Blog to a Higher Level
© Copyright 2004 - 2008 All rights reserved

Disclaimer: What's published on this website should be considered opinions of respective writers only and which has no political agenda nor commercial ambition may or may not endorse any opinion of any writer. No accuracy is guaranteed although writers are doing their best to provide accurate information only. The information on this website should not be construed as medical advice and should not be used to replace professional services provided by qualified or licensed health care workers. The site serves only as a platform for writers and readers to share knowledge, experience, and information from the scientific community, organizations, government agencies and individuals. encourages readers who have had medical conditions to consult with licensed health care providers - conventional and or alternative medical practitioners.