Analysis of Wheat Straw Biodiversity for Use as a Feedstock for Biofuel Production

Yifat Tishler, Aviva Samach, Ilana Rogachev, Rivka Elbaum, Avraham A. Levy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Wheat straw is a potential source of feedstock for biofuel production that does not compete with food. We have screened 48 wheat lines from a collection representing a broad range of the biodiversity of wild and domestic wheat. Wheat straw was fractionated into water-soluble and nonsoluble fractions. In the water-soluble fraction (WSF), we found a broad variation in the concentration of free soluble sugars (FSS) and a narrow variation in starch. The FSS fraction could reach levels of reducing sugars as high as 130 g sugar/kg of straw. The analysis of the FSS by ion chromatography indicated that fructose and glucose were the major sugar monomers in this fraction. The composition of the nonsoluble cell wall fraction was determined by both pyrolysis and direct chemical analysis. These analyses showed a limited variation in the lignin or the cellulose fraction. There was a significant degree of variation among wheat lines in the enzymatic saccharification of the straw, following acid pretreatment. Interestingly, the straw from wild wheat had the highest degree of saccharification compared to domestic lines. These findings are of interest for the biofuel industry because they mean that wheat lines can be developed in which a significant amount of free soluble sugars can be easily extracted from straw without the need for costly pretreatment and enzymatic deconstruction. Moreover, the high FSS trait might be combined with the high enzymatic saccharification trait suggesting that wheat lines can be developed with a straw composition better adapted for biofuel production.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1831-1839
Number of pages9
JournalBioenergy Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, The Author(s).


  • Bioethanol
  • Free soluble sugars (FSS)
  • Lignocellulosic biomass
  • Water-soluble fraction (WSF)
  • Wheat straw


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