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Research article2009Peer reviewed

Comparison between 10,000-year old and contemporary spruce lignin

Christiernin, Maria; Notley, Shannon M.; Zhang, Liming; Nilsson, Thomas; Henriksson, Gunnar


Wood from white spruce Picea glauca that had been preserved by rapid burial in lake sediments 10,000 years ago, was investigated and compared to a contemporary reference white spruce wood. The 10,000-year old sample appeared to have an intact primary cell wall and middle lamella, whereas the carbohydrate monomer distribution, and microscopic images showed that the secondary wall was at least partially removed, indicating that this structure had been selectively attacked by bacteria. The Klason lignin amount in the aged spruce was found to be 60%. The relative lignin monomer content in the aged spruce was 9% lower than that of the reference wood, showing that there were fewer beta-O-4' linkages in the aged sample. This finding was supported by SEC analysis of the thioacidolysed samples as a larger proportion of lignin oligomers were observed in the aged spruce than in the reference material. This indicates a somewhat greater number of condensed bonds in the aged spruce than in the reference spruce sample. Quantitative (13)C NMR analysis and HSQC techniques applied on milled wood lignins (MWL) revealed no significant structural differences between the aged spruce and the reference.

Published in

Wood Science and Technology
2009, Volume: 43, number: 1-2, pages: 23-41
Publisher: SPRINGER

      SLU Authors

    • Nilsson, Thomas

      • Department of Forest Products, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Wood Science

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)