Probing Xylan-Specific Raman Bands for Label-Free Imaging Xylan in Plant Cell Wall

Research output: NRELPoster


Xylan constitutes a significant portion of biomass (e.g. 22% in corn stover used in this study). Xylan is also an important source of carbohydrates, besides cellulose, for renewable and sustainable energy applications. Currently used method for the localization of xylan in biomass is to use fluorescence confocal microscope to image the fluorescent dye labeled monoclonal antibody that specifically binds to xylan. With the rapid adoption of the Raman-based label-free chemical imaging techniques in biology, identifying Raman bands that are unique to xylan would be critical for the implementation of the above label-free techniques for in situ xylan imaging. Unlike lignin and cellulose that have long be assigned fingerprint Raman bands, specific Raman bands for xylan remain unclear. The major challenge is the cellulose in plant cell wall, which has chemical units highly similar to that of xylan. Here we report using xylanase to specifically remove xylan from feedstock. Under various degree of xylan removal, with minimum impact to other major cell wall components, i.e. lignin and cellulose, we have identified Raman bands that could be further tested for chemical imaging of xylan in biomass in situ.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NamePresented at the 2015 Annual BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) Retreat,15-17 June 2015, Chattanooga, Tennessee

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-2700-64484


  • hemicellulose
  • label-free imaging
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • SRS
  • Stimulated Raman Scattering
  • xylan
  • xylanase


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