The research focused on biosynthesis and lignin structure.
Intensive research was conducted on the final steps of lignification and characterisation of lignin in different cell wall layers. Furthermore, the effect of wood modification on lignin structure and properties of solid wood and wood fibres were investigated:
- High temperature drying
- Micro-wave treatment
- Precursor impregnation.
New techniques are were developed for lignin analyses (Fast Transform Infra Red Technique (FTIR), antibody labelling). The natural variation in the structure and content of lignin needed to be analysed in order to find specific trees for selective breeding.
Possibilities of genetic engineering of lignin structures were investigated. The Working Group also addressed the role of cell-wall maturation and lignification in the process of growth stress generation, in relation with Working Group 1 and Working Group 3.