Characterization of the lignin polymer in Brassicaceae family

Document Type : Original paper


1 Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Pharmacy, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

3 Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Pharmacy, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.


Background and objectives: Residues of medicinal plants after extraction and weeds are suitable candidates for bioethanol production. Significant barriers exist to make the conversion of lignocellulosic feedstock to biofuel cost effective and environmentally friendly; one of which is the lignin polymer. Brassicaceae family is one of the potential targets for biofuel production. The structural characteristics of lignin from Hirschfeldia incana, Sisymbrium altissimum and Cardaria draba were studied in comparison to that of Brassica napus. Methods: Lignin deposition was observed by phloroglucinol and Mäule staining. The total lignin content was determined by Klason method. Maximum UV absorbance and FT-IR spectra were compared. Ratio of syringyl to guaiacyl lignin (S/G ratio) as a metric of lignin digestibility was determined by DFRC followed by GC-MS analysis. 1H-NMR spectra of the total lignin was compared with other spectroscopic methods. Results: Staining of thestem cross sections of C. draba showed higher G units in contrast to the higher S units in S. altissimum which was in agreement with 1H-NMR analysis. Total lignin content for H. incana, C. draba and S. altissimum was 27.10%, 23.8% and 24.5%, respectively. The specific maximum UV absorbance appeared between 230-260 nm. FT-IR analysis confirmed the presence of more aromatic structures in the seed maturation stage than the flowering stage. S/G ratio was 0.26, 0.10 and 0.22 for H. incana, C. draba and S. altissimum, respectively.  Conclusion: Except Cardaria draba with the predominance of G subunits in lignin polymer, Hirschfeldia incana and Sisymbrium altissimum are suitable candidates for bioethanol production.


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