Biopolymer Analytical Platform (BAP)
The Biopolymer Analytical Platform (former UPSC Plant Cell Wall and Carbohydrate Analytical Facility) has been an official KBC facility since 2018 and is dedicated to research on cell walls of terrestrial and aquatic plants, and biopolymer materials among KBC groups. Equipment and competence for applying a large range of standard methods have been established with various sample preparation equipment, permanently installed equipment for conventional wet chemical methods and state-of-the-art analytical instrument setups.
Our competence for the analysis of lignocellulose and secondary xylem, besides fine detection of soluble sugars and starch in these materials, includes: carbohydrate composition, lignin composition, lignin and carbohydrate structures and molecular size distributions of polymers. Conventional wet chemistry methods such as Updegraff cellulose and Klason/thioglycolic acid/acetylbromide lignin have been optimized in order to reduce the amount of sample material required. The availability of parallel cell wall analytical methodologies for both model systems (Arabidopsis and Populus) facilitates and accelerates the research process with other plant species.
The established methods include many different protocols to analyze monosaccharide composition of a whole sample or fractionated cell walls. The instrumental backbone for many of those methods is gas chromatography/mass spectrometry or flame ionization detection (GC/MS(FID)). The facility offers two instruments for analytical pyrolysis-GC/MS (Py-GC/MS) that quickly yield highly reproducible and comprehensive chemical fingerprinting of carbohydrate and lignin types, while a third is permanently available for sugar analysis.
For characterizing a wide variety of polymers, there is an analytical size exclusion chromatography (SEC) setup with a quadruple detector array for multi-angle laser light scattering (MALLS), viscometry, refractive index (RI) and UV absorbance detection. Ion chromatography (IC) is also available for the analysis of monosaccharides without derivatization, as well as oligosaccharides that can be collected for further characterization.
Recently, increasing number of researchers related to bioenergy, renewable resources and novel biomaterials conducted analyses at the lab.
A steering committee oversees the work of the facility and decides what techniques should be developed.
- Totte Niittylä, Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, SLU
- Ewa Mellerowicz, Prof., Dept. of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, SLU
- Hannele Tuominen, Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Plant Physiology, UmU
- Leif Jönsson, Prof., Dept. of Chemistry, UmU
- Ola Sundman, PhD, Dept. of Chemistry, UmU
- Junko Takahashi-Schmidt, PhD, Dept. of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, SLU
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