Martin et al. Biotechnology for Biofuels 2013, 6:186 http://www.biotechnologyforbiofuels.com/content/6/1/186

METHODOLOGY

Open Access

A holistic high-throughput screening framework for biofuel feedstock assessment that characterises variations in soluble sugars and cell wall composition in Sorghum bicolor Antony P Martin1, William M Palmer1, Caitlin S Byrt1,2, Robert T Furbank3 and Christopher PL Grof1*

Abstract Background: A major hindrance to the development of high yielding biofuel feedstocks is the ability to rapidly assess large populations for fermentable sugar yields. Whilst recent advances have outlined methods for the rapid assessment of biomass saccharification efficiency, none take into account the total biomass, or the soluble sugar fraction of the plant. Here we present a holistic high-throughput methodology for assessing sweet Sorghum bicolor feedstocks at 10 days post-anthesis for total fermentable sugar yields including stalk biomass, soluble sugar concentrations, and cell wall saccharification efficiency. Results: A mathematical method for assessing whole S. bicolor stalks using the fourth internode from the base of the plant proved to be an effective high-throughput strategy for assessing stalk biomass, soluble sugar concentrations, and cell wall composition and allowed calculation of total stalk fermentable sugars. A high-throughput method for measuring soluble sucrose, glucose, and fructose using partial least squares (PLS) modelling of juice Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra was developed. The PLS prediction was shown to be highly accurate with each sugar attaining a coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.99 with a root mean squared error of prediction (RMSEP) of 11.93, 5.52, and 3.23 mM for sucrose, glucose, and fructose, respectively, which constitutes an error of 0.9 and Q2 – R2 0.9 and Q2 – R2

A holistic high-throughput screening framework for biofuel feedstock assessment that characterises variations in soluble sugars and cell wall composition in Sorghum bicolor.

A major hindrance to the development of high yielding biofuel feedstocks is the ability to rapidly assess large populations for fermentable sugar yiel...
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