Alternating glucose residues are in an inverted orientation so the cellobiose (a disaccharide) is the repeating structural unit. Enzymes such as cellulases synthesized by fungi and bacteria work together to degrade cellulose and other structural polysaccharides in biomass. Optimizing these complex systems will require a more detailed understanding of their regulation and activity.
[Some images taken from "Genomics:GTL Transforming Cellulosic Biomass," U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, June 2006, genomicscience.energy.gov/biofuels/ and U.S. DOE. 2006. "Breaking the Biological Barriers to Cellulosic Ethanol: A Joint Research Agenda," DOE/SC/EE-0095, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, genomicscience.energy.gov/biofuels/.]
Credit or Source: Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. science.energy.gov/ber/
US DOE. May 2007. Biofuels Primer Placemat: From Biomass to Cellulosic Ethanol and Understanding Biomass: Plant Cell Walls, US Department of Energy Office of Science. (website)